In a bizarre turn of events, Ugandan pastor Joseph Collins Twahirwa, better known as prophet TJ Collins of Epi Kaizo Ministries-Bugolobi, who faced rape accusations earlier this year, has somehow managed to secure a humanitarian award.
Twahirwa, who had been embroiled in a rape case just a few months ago, was bestowed with the peculiar title of “youngest focused youth inspiring gospel preacher in Uganda” during a ceremony organized by the Uganda Youth Parliament and African Youth for Pan Africanism Development.
This award, apparently given to outstanding personalities, raises eyebrows, especially considering Twahirwa’s recent legal troubles.
The controversial pastor’s legal woes began when a 36-year-old Latvian tourist named Ms. Saulite Anda accused him of rape and theft of $300 in January 2023. According to media reports, Anda also claimed that Twahirwa confiscated her passport, and the police proved to be less than helpful when she attempted to file a case.
Adding to this bizarre tale, Anda also implicated three police officers, including detectives Sergeant Doreen Oyera, Cpl Judith Akite, and Constable Joyce Ayereget, all attached to Jinja Road Police Station, alleging they attempted to thwart her pursuit of justice.
Twahirwa, evidently unfazed by the gravity of these accusations, declared, “See the power of God, if you are innocent, God will always fight for you.” He went on to suggest that Anda had withdrawn the case because she felt manipulated. It’s worth noting that the veracity of these claims remains uncertain.
In an almost comical twist, Twahirwa professed his surprise at receiving the award, claiming, “I did not even know that I was nominated for this award. I just found a letter here saying that I’m a candidate, only to be told later that I’m the winner.” One can’t help but wonder about the selection process.
Mr. Briton Tigah Kiwanuka, the Speaker of the Uganda Youth Parliament, had the unenviable task of presenting the award to this unconventional recipient. He praised Twahirwa for his supposed “discipline, hard work, and humbleness.” According to Kiwanuka, over 25,000 people across four regions voted for Twahirwa, who somehow managed to score highly in Western and Central Uganda. The survey, conducted between February and June, leaves many questioning its legitimacy and criteria for evaluation.