As Ugandans closely follow the infamous Kanyamunyu/Akena murder case, Aruu County Member of Parliament Odonga Otto’s acts of trying to block former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye’s wife Ms Winnie Byanyima from entering to court as she came to stand surety for the accused, her nephew Mathew Kanyamunyu, his girlfriend Ms Cynthia Munwangari and his elder brother Joseph Kanyamunyu has led to new revelations.
Edith Byanyima on Saturday claimed in an interview with ChimpReports that their family and friends were in court because Militon Obote’s Acholi soldiers (Late Akena is an Acholi) killed Kanyamunyu’s father James Arthur Kanyamunyu, a reputable evangelist and businessman and Jolly Kanyamunyu’s two brothers who were killed on suspicion of being collaborators of the National Resistance Army under Yoweri Museveni.
The most famous close relation of the Kanyamunyu’s was RO/00012 Maj. Fred Nkuranga Rubereza who died in 1981, the first year of the bush struggle that led to the overthrow of the Obote government.
Edith Byanyima who took over responsibility of Joseph Kanyamunyu after their parents died in her interview with ChimpReport’s Giles Muhame condemned the Acholis for holding Dr Besigye vicariously liable for Ms Byanyima’s actions at Kampala High Court on Tuesday.
Pointers from Edith Byanyima’s interview:
She said several people who lost their relatives to Acholi soldiers during Amin’s reign have pledged to stand with the Kanyamunyus.
“We have got many victims of Acholi soldiers. They are telling us not to allow intimidation of our children,” she added, tearfully.
“It’s a travesty if we can’t get justice. Our people died to bring this justice. We don’t hold the entire Acholi tribe for our people’s disappearance. But our people died to get justice. These people (Akena’s associates) are abusing justice earned through blood,” said Edith.
“We have been quiet for two months. What do they mean by ferrying people in four buses to court in Kampala? Where is the guarantee that those buses will return to Acholi? This is not Acholi. We also have friends in Buganda. We will not allow them,” warned Edith.
Asked to comment on the heckling after the court hearing, Edith was unforgiving and did not mince words: “Our people are entitled to bail. Why would anyone assault her (Winnie)? Our forefathers were killed as they fought for these courts and then they come to abuse us?”
Every time Edith recalled the ethnic comments made by Akena’s relatives, her face would turn blue.
“It’s so annoying. The Acholis remind us of injustice. They are trying to commit the same injustice. If they had power, we would not be in court. Do they want me to tell them no one has monopoly of violence? This is totally unacceptable.”
She added: “If these boys (Joseph and Mathew) had their father, maybe we would not be in court. We are in court because they killed him. We have been quiet hoping that something fair would come up. Even then what kind of justice can be obtained under these circumstances?”
“Is this Acholi? They should stop threatening us. May be we should form an association? These people are in Parliament, security everywhere. In their days we would have vanished. They are playing with justice ushered in by blood of our relatives. These boys’ relatives died for justice.”
Edith blamed police for not taking action to maintain order in court.
“It’s so frustrating when you see the police doing nothing. There are anti sectarianism acts; nobody has done anything. Nobody has been questioned,” charged Edith.
“Why is he on a murder charge? The identification parade was organized by Acholi policemen. The case is being investigated by a one Johnson Olar, an Acholi and the search was done by mainly Acholi cops,” she complained.
“The whole thing smirks of framing. They put a video of a witness account on NTV showing Mathew had killed Akena. When we challenged the television; they pretended to retract the statement. We have never seen a full retraction. We may have to go to court.”
Edith urged authorities to take interest in the case so as to deliver justice.
“We want a fair trial. We will appeal to authorities to ensure people stop interfering with the process of the law. We are considering a petition to show that in these circumstances we cannot get a fair trial.”