Saturday April 22 2017

Girl who fell off Makerere University hall speaks out

Scene of crime. Makerere University’s Mitchell

Scene of crime. Makerere University’s Mitchell Hall of Residence where Ms Brendah Nakyejjo (inset left) fell from the third floor last Saturday. The suspect, Jeremiah Mukyemu (inset right) is still in police detention. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA 

By Ritah Kemigisa

Ms Brendah Nakyejjo, the girl who fell off Makerere University’s Mitchell Hall, has spoken out about the incident for the first time, detailing to the Saturday Monitor events that led to the near-fatal incident.
Speaking from her hospital bed at Mulago hospital on Thursday, Ms Nakyejjo refuted claims that the arrested Jeremiah Mukyemu is her boyfriend.
“Jeremiah is not my boyfriend, he is just my friend, actually I had just known him for about a month,” she said.
The Second Year Drama and Film student, said before the fateful night, Mr Mukyemu called her, requesting that she pays him a visit since they were friends and she needed to know where he stays.
“It was at around 5pm, I was planning to go home for Easter. Jeremiah called me asking me to visit him, I told him I would be going home, so I would only spend about 15 minutes at his place, which he agreed,” she narrated.

Trouble starts
She added that when she reached Mr Mukyemu’s room on the third floor in Mitchell Hall of Residence and asked to leave after 30 minutes, Mr Mukyemu – a Fourth Year student of Medicine and Surgery – excused himself to go and pick something and locked her in the room.
“It was at around 5.30pm when I told him I was leaving. He locked me in the room and left, saying he would be back shortly, but he came back after an hour,” Ms Nakyejjo narrated further.
Mr Mukyemu, Ms Nakyejjo adds, made the oscillations in and out of the room four times.

But it was on his third return that Ms Nakyejjo raised her antennas. She said Mr Mukyemu tried to force her into a sexual intercourse but she resisted. This is when she cried out for help.
“I think it was at around 9pm, I screamed asking for help because he wanted to rape me. He took my phone and switched it off and after locked the room and left,” she said, adding that her friend, turned tormentor, increased the volume of the music that was playing off his radio so much so that it was impossible to hear anything happening outside.
It is upon making the alarm, she adds, that a group male students from the hall entered the room but instead turned back and closed the door behind them even after she pleaded with them for help. She cannot tell how the students managed to access the room or who they were.
Ms Nakyejjo then thought of plan B. She started looking for ways of escaping and how to fight her tormentor as the night dragged on.

“I boiled water in the percolator and waited for him to come back, now this was the fourth time, when he entered I tried to pour the water on him so that I could get out, but he overpowered me and instead the water splashed on me,” she adds.
Mr Mukyemu now went full throttle, and attempted to rape her again. His victim says she made more alarms but no one came to her rescue. Mr Mukyemu, however, left the room again, this time threatening “to do something wrong” upon return.
It is at this point that Ms Nakyejjo made the decision that nearly ended her life. She says she could not imagine living with the psychological torture of rape and looked for any exit.
“When he left the room after threatening me, I screamed and no one came to help me, I decided to jump, of course with the hope that I would not end up like this (bed ridden),” Ms Nakyejjo narrates amid tears.

The injuries
Last Saturday, Ms Nakyejjo was operated on the jaws, which were severely broken after the fall, and she lost two of her teeth from the operation.
One of her legs, which doctors said suffered a dislocation, is also recovering and she says she no longer feels a lot of pain.
When the Saturday Monitor asked her about how she feels about her condition, she said she was happy she was not raped and thanked God she is still alive expressing faith that she will go back to Drama school and will hopefully be able to sing, dance and act.
“My parents have really spent a lot [of money], it shouldn’t have come to all this but I thank God, He has seen us through all this and very soon I will be discharged,” she said.
“They told me he [Mukyemu] was arrested from here, I was unconscious at that time, I was even surprised he came around… what had he come to do… that monster?” she wondered.
She also said her family is closely following up the case, but says it’s quite challenging because the boy’s family has since never showed up.

Suspect says...
Following his arrest at Mulago hospital where he had gone to check on the victim, Mr Mukyemu, told police that he had moved out of the room to buy something from the canteen and was surprised to find the girl had jumped out of the room through the window. He remains detained at Wandegeya Police Station in Kampala.