Mathew Kanyamunyu has been sentenced to prison for five years after pleading guilty for the manslaughter of social worker and child rights activist Kenneth Akena.
The sentencing that took place on the 11th November 2020 also saw his accomplice and girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari acquitted of all charges by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The Assistant DPP Magaret Nakigudde and the Chief State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya communicated the new developments in this case and noted that it would be finally closed after the defendant admitted responsibility for the death of Akena.
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Kanyamunyu was arrested in 2016 on suspicion of the murder of Akena after an altercation between the two left the latter fighting for his life.
Despite Akena’s dying declaration and the two bullets discovered in the body of the deceased implicated the two suspects, Kanyamunyu together with his girlfriend still maintained the alibi that they had taken the deceased to the hospital as good samaritans and thus pleaded not guilty, until recently.
In a sudden turn of events, in September this year, Kanyamunyu and his relatives approached the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) to broker a reconciliation in a traditional ritual known as Mato Oput ritual with the help of Dr. John Baptist Odama.
Although no one knows what could have driven the defendant to such desperate antics, it only served to implicate him even further; forfeiting him the legal representation of his then lawyers: Caleb Alaka, Evans Ochieng and Mc Dusman Kabega. The defendant further agreed to enter a plea bargain and pay 10 cows and goats to the deceased family in hopes that would bring him peace and possibly reduce his sentence.
Nonetheless his change of plea did little to help but prove his guilt and give the judicial system more fodder to implicate the suspects. After a long three years of debate and speculation, justice has finally been served and Mathew Kanyamunyu will have to pay for his crimes in a cellar for the next five years.
However a number of Ugandans feel that the sentence was not justified especially given the fact that the prison term for manslaughter would be a ‘life sentence’ instead of the five years given to Kanyamunyu.