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Businessman Kanyamunyu released from Prison

Kampala businessman Mathew Kanyamunyu has been released from prison after completing 3 years and 5 months of the 5 years he was sentenced to for the 2016 shooting death of child rights activist Kenneth Akena.
Kanyamunyu, who was initially charged with murder, had his charge reduced to manslaughter through a plea bargaining session at the High Court criminal division in Kampala.

Having served three years and five months of his five-year and one-month sentence, Kanyamunyu’s release comes following the reduction of his charge. The decision to reduce the charge was made by the Director of Public Prosecution after the plea bargaining session.

Kanyamunyu’s case took an intriguing turn when he and his girlfriend, Cynthia Munwangari, participated in a traditional Acholi ritual known as Mato Oput, translating to “drinking a bitter portion made from the leaves of the ‘oput’ tree.” This ceremony, conducted at the Ker Kwaro Acholi (Acholi Chiefdom), added layers of complexity to his legal proceedings.

During the Mato Oput ritual, Kanyamunyu reportedly confessed to the killing, a stark contrast to his previous plea of not guilty in court. As part of the ritual’s resolution, he was required to pay ten cows and three goats to the elders in Acholi.

Throughout the legal process, Kanyamunyu had expressed frustration, claiming his legal team seemed to have abandoned him. Nevertheless, he has now been released following the completion of his sentence.

The case of Matthew Kanyamunyu has drawn significant attention due to its blend of traditional rituals and modern legal proceedings, marking an unusual chapter in Uganda’s judicial history.

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