Businessman Mathew Kanyamunyu on Thursday was sent to serve five years in prison for manslaughter of social worker Keneth Akena in 2016.
Manslaughter which is unlawful killing that does not involve malice aforethought, intent of seriously harm, kill or extreme, reckless disregard for life. Its maximum punishment is life imprisonment.
Kanyamunyu’s murder charge was reduced to Manslaughter after entering a plea of guilty at the High Court Criminal division in Kampala during a criminal session on Thursday.
This comes at the back of the Acholi traditional ritual known as Mato Oput which Kanyamunyu and his co-accused girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari attended where he was allegedly cleansed and forgiven by the clan heads of the fallen social worker. After the ceremony that was in Ker Kwaro Acholi Chiefdom, it is alleged that Kanyamunyu accepted to killing late Akena and was asked to pay ten cows and three goats by the Acholi Elders.
His lawyer Peter Kabatsi told court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) amended the charge sheet which was presented to court to reduce his original murder charge to a lesser one of Manslaughter after pleading guilty.
“Kanyamunyu has accepted before court that on the 12th November 2016 at Kampala Jinja Highway he unlawfully caused the death of Kenneth Akena.’’ Kabatsi said
Adding that ‘’ On the fateful day, Kanyamunyu and Akena got involved in a motor accident which resulted into a scuffle and Kanyamunyu shot Akena in the chest ‘’
The presiding Judge Stephen Mubiru said since Kanyamunyu was the first time offender and tried to save the life of Akena by taking him to the hospital wont get life sentence as was the case but accepted six years jail term and deducted 11 months.
“Kanyamunyu is aged 43 years and he is a first offender, after shooting him, he realised the gravity of his actions and rushed the deceased to hospital where he told the doctors what had happened and attempted to save his life,” Justice Mubiru said
He added ” The following day he was pronounced dead succumbing to excessive bleeding from the gunshot wound. After agreeing to the facts of the offence, Kanyamunyu has now been convicted on his own plea of guilty and now awaits sentencing. He sought out the deceased’s family and community leaders and asked for forgiveness. He suffers from hypertension; he is a single parent to 4 minor children.”
The DPP in mitigation said Akena’s death caused a lot of trauma to the family and the unrecovered gun could be used in the commission of other offences adding that the offence is grave and carries a maximum of life imprisonment.
The DPP has also withdrawn murder charges against Kanyamunyu’s girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari according to Kabatsi.