Akena Murder: Family Prays for Transparency & Fairness

2791 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
The family says they expect the police to do its work without giving room for prominence of the suspects or the suspects relatives to overshadow the justice they deserve. Akena, a Community Development Officer in Aruu North County in Pader District, died at Norvik Hospital on Sunday morning, hours after he was reportedly shot while at Lugogo Forest Mall parking area.

The family of the late Kenneth Akena Watmon has asked police to be transparent and thorough in investigating circumstances under which he was shot.
 
The family says they expect the police to do its work without giving room for prominence of the suspects or the suspects' relatives to overshadow the justice they deserve.
 
Akena, a Community Development Officer in Aruu North County in Pader District, died at Norvik Hospital on Sunday morning, hours after he was reportedly shot while at Lugogo Forest Mall parking area.

Now Engineer Francis Omona Xavier, the deceased's father says it is sad that his son met his death in that manner. He is skeptical that Kanyamunyu's reputation and social standing might interfere with the investigations into his son's murder. He hopes for zero leniency to the suspects and says he will pursue the issue to the end.
 
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John Okumu Odongto, a close family friend in an interview with Uganda Radio Network says it is still very hard for the family and friends to come to terms with the shocking news. He wants the police to do more to give them a chance at timely justice.
 
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Burial of the deceased is set for tomorrow Wednesday, November 16th in Gang-dyang Ward Pandwong Division Kitgum Municipality.
 
Two people, Matthew Kanyamunyu and his fiancee Cynthia Munangwari, are in police custody in connection with the shooting. Preliminary information obtained by the police indicates that Akena scratched Kanyamunyu's car while parking his and the suspect reacted by firing four shots using his pistol. Both the suspects were said to be in their car, a Toyota Prado registration number UAW 548M, at the time of the shooting.
 
Kanyamunyu then rushed the deceased to Nakasero and then Norvik Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
  
On Monday evening, police told URN that detectives were struggling to reconstruct the scene of crime at Forest Mall after it was established that both the gun and the cartridges from the bullets are missing. With the missing cartridges, the Commandant Flying Squad, Herbert Muhangi, concluded that the scene had completely been tampered with at the time the scene of crime officers arrived thus nullifying the report.
  
According to a source at the Flying Squad Headquarters, both the gun and cartridges disappeared at the scene before police responded to a gunshot sound. This, according to the source, is a sign of a well-trained individual having shot Akena.
 
During interrogation, Kanyamunyu denied owning or being in possession of a firearm but some of the neighbors interrogated at his Mengo-based home told police operatives that he has been moving with a pistol and using it to threaten people he disagrees with.
 
A security guard who was at Lugogo Mall, who prefers to remain anonymous, says most witnesses point to a man as the shooter. He says their suspicion is that the gun has been hidden and the suspects are trying to get their way out.
 
Kanyamunyu's relatives, on the other hand, state that the bullet that Akena could have been hit by a stray bullet targeting Kanyamunyu and Munangwari. The family has since issued a statement signed by a one Joseph Kanyamunyu saying reports that Matthew shot Akena are "incorrect, misleading and lacking substantiated facts." He added: "Further on, sifting through the facts, I now have a good reason to believe that the same bullet that took the life of Kenneth Akena could have actually been prepared for Matthew or his lovely girlfriend Cynthia Munangwari who was also in the car." He notes that Munangwari and her family are victims of political persecution in her home country, Burundi. "Her aunt, Hon. Hafsa Mossi, an MP in the East African parliament, was recently gunned down in Burundi," says Joseph Kanyamunyu.
 
The operatives who searched the suspect's home failed to find the pistol, but were able to find documents indicating that Kanyamunyu is a Ugandan national.
 
Kanyamunyu in his statement says, "I only acted as a Good Samaritan and helped a man that I found lying in a pool of blood at Lugogo where I had gone with my fiancée to party."
 
The police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi told URN that police is still interrogating the security operatives attached to Forest Mall as well as reviewing the CCTV footage.
  
Kanyamunyu is a city businessman and Chief Executive Officer of Quantum Express Logistics located along Second Street in Industrial Area. His company deals in warehousing, Air freight, Customs brokerage, and ocean freight among others.
 
Munangwari's social media account describes her as the CEO & founder of Bujumbura Fashion Week and CyMun Collection. She's a Burundian national.
 
Police is yet to answer questions how Akena's vehicle, a Blue Premio registration UAU 995G, moved from the scene of crime and was later found on near Kireka, along Jinja Road.
 
One of the investigating officers who preferred anonymity told Uganda Radio Network that the current investigating theory is that the vehicle was moved by the suspect's accomplices to try and divert the investigations.
 
"Why would a thief steal a car, take it about two kilometres away and park it? It seems the suspect and his accomplices wanted the police to think the intent of the murder was car robbery," says the officer.

 

About the author

Annet Lekuru
Annet Lekuru is the Uganda Radio Network bureau chief for Arua. She is new in this post, assigned August 2016. However, she is no stranger to URN subcribers and readers.

Lekuru started her journalism career in 2011 with training from Radio Paris where she worked until April 2015. She started writing for URN in May 2015 as a freelance reporter.

Lekuru loves and continues to admire URN because of the reporter privilege to identify and report on issues close to one's heart which offers an opportunity to the reporter to develop a passion in a beat and report on it exhaustively.

With a background training in Conflict Sensitive Journalism she hopes to graduate into doing remarkable and recognised human rights and human interest stories in the near future.

She is interested in reporting on issues of justice, law, human rights and health.