In May 2022, Dr. Matthew Kirabo was found guilty of murder by Justice Henry Kawesa Isabirye, even though he was not present during the trial. The murder victim was his girlfriend, Desire Mirembe.
Following months of being on the run, Dr. Kirabo was apprehended in Nairobi by Kenyan security forces on Wednesday. On Friday, Justice David Matovu from the Mukono High Court ordered his detention in Luzira Prison until the sentencing proceedings take place.
The evidence presented in court revealed that Mirembe, a student at Makerere University at the time, was killed by Kirabo on July 11, 2015, after a disagreement. Her body was discovered in a sugarcane plantation in Lugazi, Buikwe District.
When Dr. Kirabo first appeared in court on October 6, 2021, he pleaded not guilty to the murder charge with the assistance of his lawyer, Ali Hassan Kato. He was granted bail, which the state attorney did not oppose.
On November 3, 2021, he fled the court, leading to the issuance of an arrest warrant. Nevertheless, the case proceeded without him, and each of his guarantors was ordered to pay a cash bond of Shs150 million.
During the investigation, Kirabo, who had initially been detained on murder charges, guided police detectives to the crime scene and explained how he had killed Mirembe. A video recording of his confession was presented as evidence in court.
Justice Isabirye primarily based his verdict on this confession video, as the court learned that Kirabo had picked up Mirembe from Ark Hostel in Katanga before heading to the Lugazi area. In his judgment, Justice Isabirye asserted that the evidence presented was sufficient to convict Kirabo for the murder of his then-girlfriend.