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Makerere lecturer accused of rape set free

Prof Bakuneta in the dock during the hearing of his case. (Photo by Rachel Agaba)

KAMPALA– After two years on bail, the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mike Chibita has withdrawn rape charges against Makerere University lecturer Prof Christopher Bakuneta after key witness failing to turn up in court.

A Nolle Prosequi discontinuing the case has been presented in court on Monday by prosecution led by Ms Catherine Namakoye.

“Take notice that the government of Uganda intends that the proceedings against Prof Chris Bakuneta charged with rape shall not continue,” reads part of the letter dated November 30 signed by the DPP.

Ms Namakoye also told court that the witness failed to secure the presence of the victim in court although they have tried to summon.

In her letter dated April 5, 2016, to the DPP, the then 22-year old, Ms Ntegeka Vasha noted that she had decided to forgive Prof Bakuneta because he had been a friend who provided shelter.

“Based on the HIV results which proved him negative which was my worry, I feel I have forgiven him from the bottom of my heart,” Ms Vasha said.

In the same letter, Ms Ntegeka also noted that the wife and children of Prof Bakuneta pleaded to her.

“I have lost interest in the case because the conditions in it do not amount to rape,” she added.

Justice Jane Frances Abodo has set him free; however she has warned the professor that the state can bring back the case if evidence is got.

The prosecution had stated that Prof Bakuneta, a lecturer of Zoology at the College of Natural Science at Makerere University on March 24, 2016, at the same institution had sexual intercourse with Ms Vasha Ntegeka without her consent.

However, Prof Bakuneta admitted having had sex with the victim but said it was consensual adding that the act took place from his office at the Zoology department and not at the garage.

Court documents indicate that the victim came into contact with the lecturer through her sister, who used to stay at the same lecturer’s garage in 2014.

It had been further stated that the student said she had not locked the door of her dwelling when Prof Bakuneta entered the garage and raped her.

 

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