Mukono High Court Judge, Henry Kaweesa Isabirye delivered the ruling on Wednesday following an application by State Attorney, Happiness Ainebyona to proceed with the matter without Kirabo.
Matthew Kirabo (suspect) leaving court in October
case of former Makerere University medical student, Desire Mirembe will proceed in Mukono
High court without the prime suspect, Mathew Kirabo.
Mukono High Court Judge, Henry
Kaweesa Isabirye delivered the ruling on
Wednesday following an application by State Attorney, Happiness
Ainebyona to proceed with the
matter without Kirabo. She
asked the High court to wave Kirabo’s right to appear in line with article 28
(5) of the constitution.
“My Lord we are making an application to have criminal case number 434/2015 to proceed in the absence of the
suspect while relying on article 28
(5) of the constitution,
section 14&13 of the Judicature Act, and section 14 of the Trail Act,” she
28 (5) of the constitution allows the court to proceed without the accused who
makes it hard for the trial to continue. While taking court down memory lane since
the case started, the state
told the court that
13 witnesses had already testified on behalf of the state.
She explained that the respondent (Kirabo) last
appeared in court on October 29, 2021, when the matter
was adjourned to November 3. The sureties and his lawyers have
since maintained that they last saw the respondent on November 1, 2021. Since
then, the prosecution case has stalled.
The court issued an arrest warrant
for Kirabo who is still at
“It is from that background that we are filing
this application while attaching an affidavit of the police officer who
enforced the arrest warrant to allow us to proceed. The respondent denied
himself the chance to be present by absconding,” she said.
She then asked the court to rely on the principles
applied in a similar case of Uganda Vs Hon. Herbert Kabafunzaki where 15
witnesses had testified and the accused person jumped bail. “The court granted the state’s application since it is against
public policy to allow the frustration of court proceedings by the accused
person who has chosen
to abscond. The accused was convicted in his absence and the sentence was passed.
We pray that this court is guided by this same authority to order the trial of the
accused person continue in his absence”
The defense lawyer Ali Hassan Kato objected to the
application on grounds that it was incompetent. “Rule 2 of the Judicature act states that all
the High court be made in writing and where it is necessary, they shall be
supported by an affidavit. My lord the affidavit attached to the motion is not
in support of but rather an affidavit of proof of executing the warrant of
arrest,” he said.
referred to the case
of Damuilra Abudu Vs Mss xsaovo ltd of 46/2021 where the judge stated that an affidavit is an
accompaniment of application by notice of motion but not separate like the
state did. After
considerably examining the submissions, Justice Henry Kaweesa Isabirye allowed
the prosecutor to continue with the
matter in the absence of the accused person.
trail has already been frustrated. According to the defense’s arguments, the
affidavit clearly states some of the issues presented in the application by the state. The
state’s application is granted. Therefore, the trial will continue in the
absence of the respondent” he ruled.
He, however, noted that he was adjourning the trial
until further notice when
the judiciary avails funds for the case. Justice Kaweesa said that the court reduced funds to hold the trial for 40
has not been the case. “This
matter shall therefore be taken to the Court Registrar who will in turn
schedule the case upon receiving the funds.”
is suspected to have murdered his fiancé Desire Mirembe,19,
on July 10, 2015, and dumped her body in
Lugazi Sugarcane plantations
in Buikwe district where it was found on
July 11, 2015. Kirabo
confessed to the murder and was charged in Jinja High Court, remanded to Nalufenya Prison in Jinja.
The case was then moved to Mukono high court on
the instructions of the then principal judge YorokamuBawine after the state
complained that the crime had been committed in the Mukono jurisdiction. On October 6, the High Court in Mukono finally
started hearing the case after 6 years.