Kanyamunyu Does the Acholi Mato Oput to Reconcile with Akena Family, What Does it Mean in the Face of the Case’s Judge?

Ever since Mathew Kanyamunyu allegedly shot and killed a one Kenneth Akena, it being said that he has never got peace with himself as sources allege that Akena’s ‘ghost’ has been haunting him up to now. It should be noted that on the 12th of November 2016, Kanyamunyu, Munwangari Joseph and others were involved in the gruesome murder of Akena and he has now opted for Mato oput


After months and years of not having peace, Matthew Kanyamunyu decided to set his feet to the Acholi land to seek for reconciliation and bring the bond the two families (Akena’s and Kanyamunyu’s) had before the incident and this drove him to the performing of the Mato Oput traditional ceremony which is believed that their will be reconciliation and peace will prevail again.


Mato Oput is a very sour drink that is done by the Acholi people of northern Ugandan and it has the ingredients for peace making between the accused and the victim’s family. Mato oput is the ritual climax of an Acholi justice process for bringing reconciliation and forgiveness in the wake of a homicide within the community and after it is performed, it is widely believed that peace prevails again.

Mato Oput is both a process and ritual ceremony that aims at restoring relationships between clans that would have been affected by either an intentional murder or accidental killing. It helps to bring together the two conflicting parties with the aim of promoting forgiveness and restoration, rather than revenge. The Acholi conduct the Mato Oput ceremony because they believe that after the ceremony the “hearts of the offender and the offended will be free from holding any grudge between them.


The Liu Institute for Global Issues and the Gulu District NGO Forum note out that, the Mato Oput ceremony itself has ‘various forms across different clans.’ However, the common characteristics include, the slaughtering of a sheep (provided by the offender) and a goat (provided by the victim’s relatives), the two animals are cut into halves and then exchanged by the two clans, and “the drinking of the bitter herb Oput by both clans to ‘wash away bitterness.” The drinking of the bitter herb means that the two conflicting parties accept “the bitterness of the past and promise never to taste such bitterness again


Among the lawyers that are in this case, a one Grace Nuwamanya Karuhanga is the one that is believed to have advised Kanyamunyu to got to the Acholi land and look for a permanent reconciliation or else things would keep going to the west for him. It was still hanging in a pivot as whether Akena’s family was ready to sell off what they have to chase their son’s justice, or else agree a reconcilaiton that may see Kanyamunyu pay for all the expenses and damages the family went through during Akena’s death.


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Consequently, this will see Akena’s family happy that there is a full ‘justice’ for their late son, but the judge and other lawmakers are watching all this, and the judge in this case may be given a green light that it is true, Kanyamunyu committed the offence by killing Akena since Mato Oput ceremony is basically about cleansing between the killer and the the late.

Let us face reality, according to a one Shantel a lawyer, she asserts that since it is a Uganda Vs Kanyamunyu case not the family of Kanyamunyu Vs Akena family, Kanyamunyu would not have allowed to go and perform the Mato Oput ceremony because this shows he has accepted that he is guilty. This may automatically strip him off his Miranda rights that say “Anything you say can and will be used against you” so the result may be easily known. So the game may have been made so easy for the judge and the jury that is handling this case.


Times Reporter

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