By Juliet Kigongo
The murder trial of Kampala businessman Matthew Kanyamunyu, and his girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari, resumes Tuesday next week after close to eight months.
According to the October 8 hearing notice issued by the deputy registrar of the Criminal Division of the High Court, Ms Mary Kisakye Kaitesi, the trial will be handled by Justice Stephen Mubiru, the same judge who had partly heard the case earlier this year before it was adjourned to the next criminal session.
"Take notice that the hearing of this matter has been fixed for October 20 at 9am or soon, thereafter, in this court before Hon Justice Stephen Mubiru. If no appearance is made on your behalf, by yourself/ your pleader or someone authorised by law to act for you, the matter will be heard in your absence," the hearing notice reads in part.
It is addressed to both the prosecution and defence lawyers.
Kanyamunyu is represented by Ochieng Associated Advocates and Solicitors, Tumusiime Kabega & Co Advocates and Alaka & Co Advocates.
Kanyamunyu and his girlfriend are accused of killing children rights activist Kenneth Akena on November 12, 2016, near Malik Car Bond opposite Uganda Manufacturers Association in Lugogo after he allegedly knocked their car.
Kanyamunyu and his girlfriend deny the charges.
The trial was halted in February after the criminal session that Justice Mubiru was handling ended before the judgment. The same matter was rescheduled to resume in April shortly after Easter celebrations but it could not due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
At the time of halting the trial, prosecution had presented the 13th and last witness and was closing its case waiting for cross-examination by defence lawyers.
Meeting Acholi leaders.The resumption of the criminal trial comes barely a month after Kanyamunyu approached the Acholi leaders seeking reconciliation with the bereaved family through the traditional justice system of mato-oput.
Sources, who attended the meeting in Gulu District on September 12, said Acholi cultural elders fined Kanyamunyu 10 cows and five goats after his remorse and alleged admission to the killing of Akena.
Principal Judge Flavian Zeija in a recent interview said if he formally alerts the court about the same, it would be considered.