A person named Dr. Mathew Kirabo, previously convicted of the murder of his girlfriend, Desire Mirembe, in 2015, has been apprehended in Nairobi by Interpol.
This arrest comes nearly a year after he was convicted for the murder that occurred in 2015. A security source confirmed the arrest but refrained from providing further details, promising to share more information the following day.
In the judgment delivered on May 30, 2022, Judge Henry Kaweesa of Mukono High Court convicted Kirabo in absentia and mentioned that he would issue the sentence once the convict was apprehended.
Judge Kaweesa based his decision on the advice of court assessors who concluded that all available evidence pointed towards Kirabo as the mastermind behind Mirembe’s murder.
Kirabo’s conviction followed the recommendation of court assessors on March 29, 2022, who advised the Judge to find him guilty of the 2015 killing of Mirembe. One assessor, Robert Sseguya, asserted that the evidence overwhelmingly indicated Kirabo’s involvement and urged for his conviction.
Mirembe’s family, led by her father, Emmanuel Musoke, expressed their satisfaction with the ruling, believing that justice had been served. Nevertheless, they voiced their disappointment with the security forces for failing to apprehend Kirabo earlier, as he had absconded court after being implicated by several witnesses.
Desire Mirembe, a student at Makerere University Medical School, went missing in July 2015 after leaving her hostel to meet her boyfriend, Kirabo. Her body was later discovered in a sugarcane plantation in Jinja on July 7, 2015.
Detectives subsequently arrested Kirabo, who confessed to the murder, led them to the crime scene, reconstructed the incident, and detailed how he strangled and fatally injured Mirembe using a surgical blade.
Kirabo faced murder charges at the Jinja Magistrates Court and was initially detained. However, he was later granted bail on November 24, 2016.
The case was later transferred to the Mukono High Court due to jurisdictional issues, following a complaint from the state in Jinja regarding their inability to prosecute it further.
In May 2021, there was public outrage when Kirabo applied to court to retrieve his passport, seeking to travel to the US for further studies. After the intervention of Col. Edith Nakalema, the former State House Anti-Corruption Unit head, Mirembe’s family met with Principal Judge Justice Dr. Flavian Zeija, who pledged to expedite the case.
The trial resumed; however, in October, Kirabo failed to appear in court, with his lawyers citing illness. Surprisingly, photos later surfaced showing Kirabo with a new girlfriend, a US citizen.
Medical personnel who fabricated lab results indicating Kirabo’s illness with COVID-19, supposedly contracted from Jinja, were arrested and detained.
On November 3, 2021, Judge Kaweesa issued an arrest warrant for Kirabo, instructing the police to present him in court “as soon as possible.” Kirabo did not surrender, prompting the judge to order his sureties to produce him or pay a fine.
On November 17, 2021, the sureties, namely Imelda Wabulembo, Benard Mbayo, and Elizabeth Baleke, informed the court that they were unaware of Kirabo’s whereabouts. Judge Kaweesa ruled that they had been given ample time to produce the suspect in court, and he ordered each surety to pay a fine of 50 million shillings or face imprisonment for aiding a suspect’s escape. They eventually paid a total of 150 million shillings.
At the time of his arrest, Kirabo was still wanted under the existing arrest warrant.