The High Court in Mukono has finally started the hearing of a murder case in which Desire Mirembe (the late) was killed and her body dumped in Lugazi.
Mirembe’s then-boyfriend, Mathew Kirabo is the prime suspect and was present in court as the hearing kicked off on Wednesday.
The family of the deceased came in court donning similar t-shirts, with words “justice for Desire”.
The deceased’s father Emmanuel Musoke, was the first witness and he shed tears when asked to tell the court what he expected her daughter to become after studies?
“By now, my girl would have been a doctor,” a teary Musoke said.
The other witness, Pr. Isaiah Mbuga, who is the lead pastor of Christ Heart Ministries International told the court that the deceased came to him for counselling, saying she had relationship issues that she wanted to be helped on.
“When Desire came to my office, she told me that someone called Mathew paid her hostel security guards to report to him when she reports to the hostel and with whom,” Mbuga told the court.
Mbuga said that he had met the deceased through someone who told him that the girl needed help.
“She told me that she was being told to do things she did not want to do, and I told her to leave that relationship because it was not healthy,” Mbuga added.
Mukono High Court justice Henry Isabirye adjourned court to Thursday when the hearing will continue.
Defence lawyer Dalton Apwonya said that the evidence brought to court was not enough, and he is ready to defend his client.
“None of the witnesses presented conclusive evidence,” Apwonya said.
Last week, prime suspect Mathew Kirabo denied all charges and involvement in the murder of Desire Mirembe.
Yet when the case first came up for hearing in 2015, Kirabo confessed to killing the girlfriend before he was 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 does not have money to start hearing the case.
In May 2021, the court in Mukono heard the prime suspect, Mathew Kirabo’s application in which he was seeking the return of his passport so that he can travel to the United States of America for further studies.
Kirabo’s lawyer, Isaac Kato told the 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 applied pressure on the court to start hearing the main case, until it returned in court on Wednesday, ending a six-year wait.
Desire Mirembe’s body was found in a sugarcane plantation in Lugazi, Buikwe District, with a slit throat, on July 7, 2015, after a two-day search. A young boy walking through the plantation stumbled on it and informed the police.
Mirembe’s father had earlier on tried contacting her unsuccessfully after returning from abroad.
On realising that his messages were not being replied to, the father contacted Mirembe’s close friend, one Maggie who informed that the last message from Mirembe’s phone number read that, “I have gone to Jinja with a stranger but I am scared.”
Maggie said that she suspected that the message was sent by the boyfriend, Mathew Kirabo and on realising that Mirembe was missing, Maggie put pressure on Kirabo to produce her, dead or alive.
At the time of her death, Mirembe was aged 18 years, and was starting her second year as a Medical Student at Makerere University. The boyfriend was also a medical fellow at the same university.