Businessman Matthew Kanyamunyu yesterday requested court to halt his murder trial to allow time to complete the traditional justice process and added that he will seek the Judiciary’s Plea Bargain mechanism that provides for a lenient sentence upon confession of guilt.
A letter written by his lawyers Tumusiime, Kabega and Company Advocates to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) indicates that Kanyamunyu wants court to allow him first complete the Acholi traditional reconciliation mechanism locally known as mato oput.
He said, thereafter, he will appear before court and will seek to be taken through Plea Bargain justice mechanism.
Under the Plea Bargain process, the accused person voluntarily pleads guilty to the charges in exchange for a lenient sentence.
“The purpose of this letter is to request that our client (Kanyamunyu) is accepted into Plea Bargaining programme once the process of mato -oput is concluded,” the letter reads in part.
“Therefore, we would be most obliged if this matter is removed from the cause-list of trials beginning October 20, before Justice Mubiru Stephen to allow for the completion of the mato oput and plea bargaining,” the lawyers further requested.
Kanyamunyu’s lawyers also state in their letter that the mato oput process was disrupted by the death of Akena’s mother on October 9, but added that they are hopeful the process will be concluded by December.
The prosecution will respond to Kanyamunyu’s submission before close of the week. The judge adjourned the case to next Tuesday to give a ruling on whether to resume or postpone the trial until competition of the mato oput process.
Kanyamunyu murder trial had been scheduled to resume yesterday after a long adjournment of about eight months.
However, on Monday, Justice Mubiru met both parties to agree on some issues to ensure a smooth hearing. Sources privy to the Monday meeting said the judge told the parties that he would not grant any adjournment, especially for the cases that have been partially heard and expects all the cases to be completed during this criminal session.
About a month ago, Kanyamunyu appeared before the paramount chief of Acholi, Rwot David Onen II, seeking reconciliation with Akena’s family.
Mr Kanyamunyu and his girlfriend, Cynthia Munwangari, are charged with the killing of Kenneth Akena, a children rights activist, on November 12, 2016, near Malik Car Bond in Lugogo on Jinja Road in Kampala after the deceased allegedly knocked their car.
Akena died a few hours later at Norvic hospital on Bombo Road where he had been taken by the accused.
Its alleged that in his dying declaration, Akena reportedly told his relatives that he was shot by the same people who took him to hospital.
Kanyamunyu has since then been on trial together with Munwangari .