High Court has finally accepted the evidence of a ballistic expert in the trial of businessman Matthew Kanyamunyu and his Girlfriend, Cynthia Munwangari for the murder of child right's activist, Kenneth Akena.
While appearing before Court last week, the principal government analyst, Ms Robina Kirinya told court that she had found gunshot residue on Mr Kanyamunyu’s belongings.
However, Kanyamunyu’s defence team objected to her testimony, arguing her report could have been fabricated since some information could be seen on the photocopy but was missing on the original copy.
In her report, Ms Kirinya explained that she received exhibits including Kanyamunyu's car registration number UAW 548M and that of Akena, a pair of navy blue suit and long sleeved sky blue shirt from police detectives for ballistic analysis.
Ms Kirinya further told court that she examined the said items and found gun residue in Kanyamunyu’s car, shirt and trousers. Her testimony is key to the trial since the state is yet to find the killer gun. However, the defence team led by MacDusman Kabega sought to punch holes in Kirinya’s testimony.
They pointed to an error in her report where detective Haruna Mugisha who submitted the exhibits marked the number plate of Kanyamunyu’s car by writing ‘W’ instead of ‘M at the end. They also argued that the police request for ballistic analysis clearly indicated that Kanyamunyu had reportedly shot Akena, which would bias the findings of the analyst.
In order to clarify on the mistake, prosecution led by Jonathan Muwaganya presented four people who were involved in the report to clarify on the evidence. They included detectives Haruna Mugisha, Steven Wolimbwa, Charles Onek and Kirinya.
On Tuesday, Wolimbwa clarified to court that when the requests were made, he recognized the mistake and quickly wrote on the first page of the report in his handwriting. He also told court that he destroyed the original copy by Mugisha, which presented the first error while at the Government Analytical Laboratory before submitting the report to the Analyst.
Following his clarification, the trial Judge, Stephen Mubiru accepted the evidence and put it on court record, saying the witnesses only tried to correct a mistake, which couldn’t affect the report.
Although the state prosecutor is still left with three witnesses, Justice Mubiru asked Kanyamunyu’s lawyers how many witnesses they intend to present and how long they need to prepare just in case court finds that their clients have a case to answer.
In his response, Mr Kabega said they would need like four days to present their defence.
Court adjourned the matter to today (February 19, 2020) for further hearing.
Prosecution alleges that on November 12, 2016 while at Malik Car Bond Opposite Uganda Manufacturer’s Association in Lugogo in Nakawa Division, Kanyamunyu and Munwangari unlawfully caused the death of Akena, 33 when they shot him in the stomach for allegedly denting their vehicle.