Akena Shooting: Kanyamunyu Meets Elders at Traditional Justice Ceremony

City businessman Mathew Kanyamunyu, has this Saturday met with elders over the death of Kenneth Akena Watmon, a Community Development Officer.

Akena succumbed to bullet wounds at Nakasero Hospital in 2016.

He had earlier been shot when he moved out of his car to apologise to a man whose car he had reportedly scratched while parking his. 

Akena, only 32, told the medical personnel and his relatives that he was shot by the same people who rushed them to the hospital.

He had been taken to hospital by Matthew Kanyamunyu, a businessman in Kampala.

Kanyamunyu was later arrested and charged with Akena’s murder, a charge he denies.

Police findings into the death have since been challenged by Kanyamunyu’s lawyers due to lots of conflicting information and lack of the gun or bullet cartridge from the scene of the crime. 

The Kanyamunyu family on Saturday told ChimpReports that, “It’s true, he is attending a traditional justice function in Northern Uganda.”

Asked if this meant admission of the crime, the Kanyamunyus responded: “He is meeting with elders. Akena’s family will be approached later.”

The Kanyamunyus further said the “case in court still continues.”

It appears the Kanyamunyus have resorted to the traditional justice (Mato Oput) system to find a lasting solution to the murder case.

The rare process and ceremony of mato oput is undertaken only in the case of intentional or accidental killing of an individual.

The ceremony involves two clans bringing together the perpetrator and the victim in a quest for restoring social harmony.

Mato oput begins by separating the affected clans, mediation to establish the ‘truth’ and payment of compensation according to by-laws. 

The final ritual, ‘drinking the bitter root’ is a day-long ceremony involving symbolic acts designed to reunite the clans.

The ‘beating of the stick’  is followed by the sacrifice and exchange of sheep by both parties; the mixing of the bitter oput root with kwete and blood to be drunk by both parties as a symbol of washing away the bitterness; and the eating of the liver, to restore good relations.

The ceremony is followed by a celebration and restored relationships.

Akena, 33, worked with ACODEV, a non-governmental organization in Kasese district in Western Uganda.

He had previously worked in his native home town of Pader district as a Community Development Officer (CDO).

Akena was laid to rest in Gand-dyang Pandwong Division Kitgum Municipality.

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