Kampala | RedPepper Digital – Justice Henry Kaweesa Isabirye of the Mukono High Court has tasked sureties of Mathew Kirabo to present him to court or face arrest. Kirabo’s mother is among his sureties.
Kirabo is accused of masterminding his then-girlfriend, Desire Mirembe’s murder in 2015.
For the second time in a period of one week, Kirabo missed the case hearing, with his lawyers and sureties claiming that they do not know where he is.
Last week, Judge Kaweesa was forced to issue an arrest warrant against Kirabo after missing the case hearing. The judge adjourned court to Wednesday 10, November 2021, but Kirabo was again a no show.
Defence lawyer Dalton Apwonya said that his client is not picking his calls and that he does not where he is.
Apwonya requested that court gives them more time to locate Kirabo.
The judge tasked one of Kirabo’s sureties, his mother, Imelda Wabulengo, to explain where Kirabo is.
The mother said that she does not know where her son is.
“My lord, his contact cannot be reached, we have tried calling him but we failed to connect,” Wabulengo said.
The other sureties include Bernard Mbayo, who is Kirabo’s uncle, and Nelson Wabulembo.
Judge Kaweesa then ruled that both Kirabo’s sureties and lawyers have been given one week to find him or else face arrest, and pay shillings 50 million to court.
“The two sureties will produce the accused, failure to do so you will pay 50 million shillings and as well be arrested till he is brought to court,” the judge ruled.
Judge Kaweesa adjourned court to November 17, 2021.
Outside court, Kirabo’s lawyer said that his client contracted COVID-19 and it is unwise to bring him in public in that state.
Desire Mirembe’s father, Emmanuel Musoke said that they are worried their daughter might never receive justice.
Frank Gashumba, a relative of the deceased said that this could be the perfect time to talk about the right to bail of capital offenders.
“How can someone be accused of murder, with over 13 witnesses testifying against him, and still misses court? This is the perfect time to talk about bail,” Gashumba said.
Mirembe, a then Makerere University student disappeared and her body was recovered from a sugarcane plantation in Lugazi, Buikwe district, on July 7, 2015.
Her suspected killer, Mathew Kirabo confessed to the gruesome act and was charged in the Jinja Magistrates Court with murder before being remanded. He was later granted bail on November 24, 2016 and has been out of prison since.
The case was later moved to Mukono on the instructions of the then Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine after the state complained that the crime had been committed within the Mukono jurisdiction.
In 2017, the Mukono High Court said that it did not have money to start hearing the case.
In May 2021, court in Mukono heard the prime suspect, Mathew Kirabo’s application in which he was seeking return of his passport so that he could travel to the United States of America for further studies.
Kirabo’s lawyer, Isaac Kato told court then that his client needed to travel urgently and could not even make it to court. The suspect was, however, found in his car, a black Harrier SUV just outside court.
The family then mounted pressure on court to dispense justice for their fallen daughter, saying that if a date could be fixed to hear the suspect’s application, then they should also fix a date to hear the main case.