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MUK lecturer accused of rape applies for bail

By Farooq Kasule

Added 11th October 2016 09:18 AM

Prof. Christopher Bakuneta insists the sex was consensual and not rape as alleged.

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Prof. Christopher Bakuneta insists the sex was consensual and not rape as alleged.

The incarcerated Makerere University lecturer accused of raping a female student of the institution has applied for bail, pending the final determination of the case against him.

Prof. Christopher Bakuneta, 55, who lectured at the Department of Natural Sciences, wants to be released on bail on the presumption of innocence until proven guilty by the prosecution.

The other ground is that he will not interfere with the prosecution witnesses since they are not known to him and has a fixed place of abode.

He presented three sureties who told court presided over by Justice Yasin Nyanzi that they are his longtime friends.

Bakuneta asked the judge to releasing him on a non-cash bail because he has spent over five months on remand at Luzira prison without pay.

Prosecution alleges that on March 24, 2016 at Makerere University, located in the city suburbs of Kawempe Division, Bakuneta had forceful sexual intercourse with a 22-year old-student  without her consent.

It is alleged that the student stayed in his garage at the time of the incident.

Court documents indicate that on that day at about 4:00pm, the student came back from school exhausted, entered her room and subsequently slept off.

She was then reportedly woke up to find Bakuneta on top her, who then forced himself on her and raped her.

According to the indictment, he later took off without saying anything after the act.

Court heard that the victim could not move on the fateful day and slept overnight until the following day when she went out and informed their neighbors about the ordeal.

Reports indicate that the she came to know Bakuneta through her sister, who used to stay with the same lecturer in 2014.

According to a police medical report, the student had a wound on her right labia and bruises on the vulva, reflecting forceful penetration.

Upon interrogation by the police, the accused man denied the allegations, arguing that it was consensual and not rape as alleged. He further revealed that it was not the first time he had sex with her.

Bakuneta is battling charges of rape, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment upon conviction.

Justice Nyanzi will hear the bail application for over 50 criminal offenders before the end of this week and decide whether or not to release them on bail. The session began Monday.

Other prominent people on the session seeking bail include jailed Nakawa Municipality MP, Michael Kabaziguruka who is facing treachery charges and offences relating to security before the army court.

Nyanzi will also preside over the hearing of an application filed by Ruhinda County MP Rtd. Capt. Donozio Kahonda who is seeking orders from the High court to suspend criminal proceedings that were instituted against him before Jinja Magistrate Court in October last year.

The legislator is accused of forgery and uttering false documents at the Military Academy in Jinja district in November 2001.

Most of the suspects told court that they have decided to apply for bail since they have spent more than three years on remand without appearing before a judge for trial.

Meanwhile tension gripped court after relatives of a one suspect Suleiman Mayanja came to stand surety but prison authorities from both Luzira and Kigo government facilities denied having him in custody.

This promoted Justice Nyanzi to issue a directive ordering Kigo prisons authorities where the relatives last visited him in June this year to produce him before court today (Tuesday) without fail.

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