By Insight Post Uganda
32-year-old medical professional- Dr. Mathew Kirabo, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the gruesome murder of his girlfriend, Desire Mirembe, a promising young medical student at Makerere University.
Mukono High Court Justice Henry Kaweesa Isabirye delivered the sentence amid a packed courtroom. The judge, considering Kirabo as a first-time offender, acknowledged the potential for reform.
Nevertheless, the judge deducted one months and seven days that Kirabo has already spent on remand, in Luzira prison.
Desire Mirembe went missing in July 2015 after leaving her hostel to meet Dr. Kirabo. Her body was later discovered in a sugarcane plantation in Jinja on July 7, 2015, at Kabubu village in Lugazi, Buikwe district.
The circumstances surrounding her disappearance and the subsequent discovery of her lifeless body prompted a thorough investigation that ultimately led to the conviction of Dr. Mathew Kirabo.
According to the prosecution, a dispute between the couple led to Kirabo sedating Mirembe before committing the heinous act.
Kirabo, once a medical professional working in Mulago Hospital’s emergency unit and Kawempe referral hospital, faced conviction in absentia on May 30, 2022.
The court heard testimonies from 14 witnesses, leading to a conviction for Mirembe’s murder. The judge ruled that the prosecution had successfully demonstrated all the essential elements of murder, establishing Kirabo’s guilt “beyond reasonable doubt.”
Kirabo’s Reflections, Regrets
Before the sentencing, Dr. Kirabo expressed condolences to Mirembe’s family, recognizing her as a promising young woman whose life was tragically cut short.
Despite his incarceration preventing him from mourning her, he conveyed deep regret. Kirabo revealed his efforts to seek the truth through private investigators, maintaining his innocence.
Through his lawyer, Henry Kunya, Kirabo pleaded for leniency, requesting the court not to impose the maximum penalty of death sought by the prosecution. Instead, he appealed for an opportunity to live and reform.
Prosecutors Happiness Ayinebyona and Emily Ninsiima argued for the death penalty, citing Kirabo’s perceived lack of remorse during the eight-year trial.
They pointed to his alleged forgery of COVID-19 results to feign illness, a subsequent traditional wedding, and his flight from the country.
Arrest and Extradition
Kirabo’s journey to justice included an arrest in Kenya by Interpol on September 12, 2023. Following his capture, he was extradited to Uganda to complete the trial, ensuring accountability for the heinous crime.
As the courtroom echoes with the finality of Justice Isabirye’s ruling, the tragic tale of Mirembe’s untimely death finds a chapter of resolution, while Kirabo faces the consequences of his actions behind the walls of Luzira prison.