The senior pastor, Buyinza Isma Sekabira, also known as Isreal, from Deliverance and Healing Ministries Church located in Nansana, Wakiso district, has faced charges of murder and subsequently been confined to Kirinya prison in Jinja city.
Sekabira, who uses the alias Isreal, was presented before Justice Winfred Nabisinde at the Jinja High Court on Tuesday.
During this appearance, he was formally accused of participating in the murder of a four-year-old named Trinity Isabella Nakisuyi in 2021.
Accompanied by co-defendant Felista Namaganda, Sekabira denied the allegations. Consequently, both individuals have been detained until August 29, 2023, which is the scheduled date for further proceedings regarding the case.
Another co-accused, Pastor Joseph Sserubiri, who was named alongside them, admitted guilt to two charges of murder and aggravated trafficking in persons.
In the previous week, he was convicted and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment and a 30-year prison term by the same court, respectively.
Notably, Sserubiri, who had also served as a pastor at Deliverance and Healing Ministries Church in Kakira, Jinja district, is to serve these sentences concurrently.
The backdrop to this situation involves Sserubiri’s purported abduction of Trinity Isabella Nakisuyi, the daughter of his landlord, John Mulodi, based in Market Zone, Kakira, on October 1, 2021.
Allegedly, Sserubiri collaborated with his wife, Felista Namaganda, and Buyinza Isma Sekabira in carrying out the murder.
The crime is said to have taken place in the garage of Mulodi’s residence, which had been rented out and transformed into a church.
Sserubiri’s actions were reportedly driven by a dream in which he claimed to receive divine instructions to sacrifice a child in exchange for wealth and spiritual power.
While Sserubiri admitted guilt, Buyinza and Namaganda denied any knowledge of the crimes, leading to their prosecution.
Justice Nabisinde rejected an application made by Sekabira’s lawyer, Seth Rukundo of Seth Rukundo and Company Advocates, to prevent his prosecution.
This application was deemed to lack merit and relevance due to the case’s transition to the High Court, where Buyinza was included on the charge sheet.
Additionally, state prosecutor Shallot Kamusiime was granted permission to amend the charge sheet to include Sekabira in the murder case.
The evidence against the suspects includes the testimony of Peruth Akumu, the officer in charge of criminal investigations at Kakira Police Station.
Akumu, along with other detectives, examined the crime scene and observed blood stains in the church, leading to further investigation.
Sserubiri’s cooperation with detectives was limited, leading to his transfer to the Jinja Police region headquarters, where he confessed to the murder and implicated Sekabira as his spiritual mentor who instructed him to commit the act.
The investigation led to the discovery of the child’s head and remains buried in specific locations. John Mulodi, the victim’s father, had suspicions about Sekabira’s involvement due to his influence over Sserubiri and his association with the church.
Mulodi expressed concerns about the church’s activities, such as overnight prayers and rituals that seemed unsettling.