GULU – Mr Mathew Kanyamunyu, who is accused of shooting and killing Kenneth Akena, an NGO worker, on Saturday, September 12, 2020, knelt before Acholi elders in an apparent attempt to reconcile with the deceased’s family and relatives.
Gulu Archbishop John Baptist Odama and the Acholi Paramount Chief, Rwot David Onena Acana II, witnessed the reconciliation meeting in Gulu District.
Kneeling before the leaders and Akena’s family, Kanyamunyu recounted how the shooting incident happened on November 12, 2016, at Forest Shopping Mall in Lugogo.
The remorseful Akena then pleaded for clemency from the leaders of Ogom clan to which Akena belonged.
Ambrose Olaa, the Prime Minister of Acholi Cultural Institution, said the elders then took Kanyamunyu through the traditional Mato Oput ceremony where he was made to drink a bitter potion made from the leaves of the ‘oput’ tree is one of the mechanisms for forgiveness and reconciliation.
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.
It is not clear whether the reconciliation means Akena’s family will withdraw the murder case against Kanyamunyu, girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari and sibling Joseph Kanyamunyu.
Kanyamunyu was arrested in 2016 on suspicion that he drew a gun and shot Akena after he reportedly knocked his car in Lugogo, Kampala. Akena had reportedly gone to apologize to Kanyamunyu after the accident but Kanyamunyu is accused of lowering the window of his car and shooting him at close range.
Akena died a few hours later at Norvik Hospital on Bombo Road where he had been taken by the accused. He has since then been on trial together with his girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari and sibling Joseph Kanyamunyu. But throughout the trial, Kanyamunyu and his girlfriend insisted that they took Akena to hospital as good Samaritans.
Early this year, the trial of Kanyamunyu and his girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari as Akena’s key murder suspects was adjourned indefinitely by presiding judge Stephen Mubiru.