By Our Reporter
MUKONO, Uganda|SHIFTMEDIA| Cash strapped court in Mukono has halted the hearing of a prime murder case.
Judge Henry Kaweesa Isabirye of the Mukono High Court has halted the hearing of Mathew Kirabo’s murder case until further notice.
The judge said that the Mukono High Court does not not have the money needed to keep hearing this case.
Mathew Kirabo is accused of masterminding the murder of his then girlfriend, Desire Mirembe in 2015.
On Wednesday, Desire Mirembe’s family was the first to arrive in court.
Mathew Kirabo, whose whereabouts remain unknown was again represented by his sureties and family members who came to court with a police body guard.
Government lawyer Happiness Ainebyoona prayed that the court allows the case hearing to go on despite Mathew Kirabo’s absence, saying that they had searched for him everywhere but they could not find him.
Judge Isabirye later court that case can not continue because court does not have money.
The Judge’s decision left the late Desire Mirembe’s family disappointed, saying that their daughter might never get justice.
Outside the court room, Emmanuel Musoke, who is the father of the later Desire Mirembe asked government to intervene so that the case hearing can continue.
“We are disappointed, we ask the government to intervene, if the court says that there is no money, let government give them some funds so that the case can continue,” Musoke said.
Defence lawyer Dalton Apwonya told journalists outside court that their team had also agreed to continue with the case despite Kirabo’s absence but it is unfortunate that there is no money.
This is the second time in six (6) years that this case is stopped because of inadequate funds to facilitate it, with the first being in 2017.
Mirembe, a then Makerere University student disappeared and her body was recovered from a sugarcane plantation in Lugazi, Buikwe district, on July 7, 2015.
Her suspected killer, Mathew Kirabo confessed to the gruesome act and was charged in the Jinja Magistrates Court with murder before being remanded. He was later 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 did not have money to start hearing the case.
In May 2021, court in Mukono heard the prime suspect, Mathew Kirabo’s application in which he was seeking return of his passport so that he could travel to the United States of America for further studies.
Kirabo’s lawyer, Isaac Kato told 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 then mounted pressure on court to dispense justice for their fallen daughter, saying that if a date could be fixed to hear the suspect’s application, then they should also fix a date to hear the main case.
Kirabo only attended two sessions of court before he went awol.