A Ugandan businessman, identified as Mathew Kanyamunyu, on Saturday afternoon, September 12th, admitted to killing a child rights activist, Kenneth Akena Watson and agreed to pay 10 cows and three goats compensation to the family of the deceased.
The deceased, Akena, was working as a child protection specialist under a USAID project at the time of his death in 2016..
It was learnt that,the deceased accidentally knocked Kanyamunyu’s car in a parking lot in Lugogo, Kampala, and had reportedly gone to apologise to Kanyamunyu after the accident, when Kanyamunyu lowered the window of his car and shot him in the stomach with a pistol at close range. According to the family, a postmortem report revealed two bullets inside Akena’s body.
Akena died a few hours later at Norvic hospital, where he had been taken by the accused.
Kanyamunyu has since then been on trial together with his Burundian girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari and sibling Joseph Kanyamunyu who allegedly hid the killer gun. But throughout the trial, Kanyamunyu and his girlfriend insisted that they only took Akena to hospital as good Samaritans.
However, in an alleged dying declaration, Akena reportedly told his relatives that he was shot by the same people who took him to hospital.
Last month, Kanyamunyu’s family sought the intervention of Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) and Acholi Cultural Institution to broker a reconciliation agreement between them and Akena’s family to find a closure to the case.
Dr John Baptist Odama, the Gulu Archbishop backed by Rwot David Onena Acana II, the paramount chief of Acholi persuaded Akena’s family who in turn opened up to the negotiations. The reconcilers summoned the two families for the first meeting that was held on Saturday, in Gulu.
A family source privy to the negotiations says that Kanyamunyu, made a step by step recount of what happened between him and Akena on November 12, 2016, at Forest shopping mall in Lugogo before he pleaded for clemency from Ogom chiefs, Akena’s clan leaders.
“He admitted that he will make the same confession before the High court in Kampala where he is being prosecuted to allow him to enter a plea bargain,” a source said.
The same source added that after the confession, the elders on the protocol of Mato Oput made an assessment of 10 cows and three goats to be paid by Kanyamunyu’s family to which they agreed.
The trial of Kanyamunyu and his co-accused was earlier this year adjourned indefinitely by presiding judge Stephen Mubiru, the Gulu resident judge.
However, Akena’s family members remain optimistic about the pursuit of traditional justice by Kanyamunyu’s family will not derail them from continuing with criminal proceedings already before the court.
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