22 January 2019

Uganda: Kanyamunyu Trial Now Adjourned Indefinitely

Kampala — The murder trial of three people who are accused of shooting to death a child rights activist for allegedly scratching their car at Lugogo near Kampala, was yesterday, indefinitely adjourned to the next convenient criminal session.

The indefinite adjournment was prompted by the prosecution side led by Ms Fatuma Nakafeero and Gladys Nyanzi.

The two state prosecutors informed court that they had not fully disclosed to the defence side all the witness statements to enable them effectively defend their clients as earlier directed by court.

The suspects who are accused of killing Kenneth Akena are; Mathew Kanyamunyu, who is suspected to have pulled the trigger and his elder brother, Joseph Kanyamunyu.

They are charged alongside Cynthia Munwangari, a Burundian national and a girlfriend to Mathew.

Joseph is facing a separate charge of 'being an accessory' to the murder of Akena for allegedly knowing that his younger brother had killed Akena and instead went ahead to hide the killer pistol to save his brother from the long hand of the law.

"At the last court sitting, we were supposed to disclose to the defence side but we got a few hiccups. In the interest of justice, we don't want to ambush the defence side and we are therefore seeking for an adjournment to the next convenient criminal session since this session is soon ending," Ms Nakafeero asked court

The criminal session was being presided over by Justice Stephen Mubiru.

Defense lawyers speak

Defence lawyers led by MacDosman Kabega and Evans Ochieng, said they had to painfully accept the request made by the prosecution side.

"Much as we are disappointed, we will accommodate the state... ... .," defence counsel Kabega told court when asked to say something.

After hearing from both sides, the presiding judge said: "I cannot proceed with the trial with the remaining limited time left. For that reason, the trial is adjourned to the next criminal session. You will remain on bail until the fresh trial begins."

Prosecution alleges that the accused and others still at large on November 12, 2016 along Kampala-Jinja road opposite Malik car bond, with malice aforethought caused the death of Akena.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), in his indictment to court in 2017, alleged that on the fateful day, Akena reportedly parked his car along Kyadondo Rugby grounds on Jinja road waiting for his brothers.

He added that later, while reversing his car, Akena allegedly rammed into Mathew's vehicle which was being driven by Munwangari, his girlfriend.

Akena on realising that he had knocked someone's car, he got out of his car to apologise to the owners of the car he had knocked and probably compensate for the damage he had caused.

Further in the indictment, the DPP said that when Akena tried to approach Mathew's car, who was at the time of the accident seated in the co-driver's seat, got out while armed with a pistol and that a quarrel ensued as witnessed by bystanders.

Shortly after, Matthew allegedly shot Akena in the stomach.

Matthew, with the help of his girlfriend, carried Akena into their car and took him to a private clinic. When the medical staff asked Akena what had happened to him, he said that he was shot.

The medical staff further asked Akena who had shot him and in reply said: "The people who brought me, I scratched their car and the man wearing spectacles (Mathew) shot me using his pistol gun."

Also in the indictment, the State says a police search of the house rented by Matthew and Munwangari recovered the former's shirt stained with blood.

The DPP said the shirt was sent to the government analytical laboratory for analysis to prove whether the blood found in the shirt matches that of the deceased.

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