Kenneth Akena who shot at Lugogo Mall was yesterday finally laid to rest at his ancestral home in Kitgum. Mathew Kanyamunyu the prime suspect in the shooting is still in custody pending investigation.
Below is a blow by blow account of Akena’s death as narrated by his brother Jordan Watmon;
This is an account by Jordan Watmon a big brother to the deceased at the final service in Kitgum yesterday with no additions.
He said on Saturday him, Akena and another brother of theirs Pope (Watmon John) had lunch at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds.
They stayed together there for a while till around 4pm when they all dispersed and agreed to link up again later in the evening at around 8pm. Akena dropped Jordan home.
At around 7:14pm, he received a phone call from a Staff of Nakasero Hospital Kampala asking him whether he knew Akena, and he said of course he did and had a brother called Akena.
Jordan was then told that Akena was admitted at the facility; he told the caller that it was not possible as his brother Akena was not even sick and had been with him just a couple of hours earlier. But he remained very disconcerted and felt hit.
Upon receiving this bewildering call, he immediately called Pope and asked whether he had already linked up with Akena since he was running late. Pope told Jordan he was not yet with Akena and that he had tried his phone several times to no response.
It is then that it hit Jordan for the second time and he told Pope about the call he had just received from Nakasero hospital and asked him drop whatever he was doing and rush there since he was closer to town; himself jumping on a boda and heading there.
When he had reached around Fairway Hotel on the boda, Pope called him and confirmed that Akena was actually there with a fearsome gunshot wound.
Jordan reached the hospital and found Pope, a man, a woman and a police officer outside the waiting room and dashed straight to see Akena. he found him in a critical condition.
Nakasero asked for 6m UGX and they quickly mobilized the sum and the doctors worked on their brother Akena. They were all in shock.
While the doctors worked on Akena, the hospital authorities advised them to first go to police and record statements given the nature of the injury on the victim- a bullet wound; and the account of the Good Samaritans who had brought him in.
The Good Samaritans Mathew Kanyamunyu and Girlfriend Cynthia left separately from the brothers but they all agreed to meet at Wandegeya Police Station not so far from Nakasero.
The brothers jumped on Bodas a few minutes after and headed straight to Wandegeya Police but didn’t find the couple; they rushed to Jinja Road Police Station and didn’t find them there too; they then went to CPS but also didn’t find them!
So when they were at CPS, they narrated to the police officers what had happened, they were encouraged to file the case there but they said they would try to go back to Wandegeya Police to check for the couple one last time as they were the first respondents at the scene of the shooting.
So they rushed back to Wandegeya Police again and found the ‘lost’ couple. From there, they all agreed to take the case to Jinja Road Police since it was closer to scene Mathew said he had picked Akena.
At Jinja Road, Jordan was questioned whether Akena had a gun or was doing work related to security and he said no, he wasn’t aware. He was also asked about the type of work he did and he told them. The same with Matthew who made a statement saying he was a only a good Samaritan helping out Akena.
At this moment, Jordan told mourners that Pope had already pulled him aside and narrated a different version from what Matthew reported to police that happened.
That Akena had narrated that when he was reversing at Game Lugogo Mall, he brushed a guy’s car and when he went to apologize, the driver lowered his car window, pulled a pistol, pressed it on his stomach and shot him!
Akena had mentioned to Pope plainly that the man and woman who brought him to the hospital is the one who had shot him.
That was the last time he was conscious and ever spoke. However, at the police, the gentleman and the girlfriend maintained that they were only good Samaritans who had just found Akena shot.
Jordan said when he told the police what Akena had told them differently, the police started taking them very seriously at that point. It was difficult for them to juggle between the police and hospital so when they were leaving the hospital for police, they had called another friend called Jackie to stay at the hospital.
From Jinja Road Police they went back to the Nakasero and were told by the doctors that their work had been done and their part which majorly was to arrest the bleeding but that Akena needed ICU. They said Nakasero was however at full capacity. (Please refer to Nakasero Press release)
The brothers then contacted all major hospitals including IHK and Case Clinic but all their ICUs were full. Then finally found out that Norvik Hospital had a free bed.
So they asked Norvick to call an ambulance to take him there immediately.
Akena was taken to Norvik and after examinations, the doctor there told them in order to operate on Akena, he first had to gain stability and that this could take up to 2 days.
At some point the doctor told them that there was still some bleeding coming from the wound and the doctors weren’t sure if it was fresh blood or whatever procedure they performed at Nakasero.
The doctor also explained to them that the bullet was fired from the upper part of his stomach near the ribs and went downwards instead of the common cases that go straight. So they said, it was going to be very difficult for them to find it and yet so much damage had already been done to his internal organs and that even if he were to survive, he would never live normally again.
The doctor further mentioned that if it was the common instances where bullets go straight into the flesh ‘straight’, they would have extracted it by now.
Ailing on his bed, medics kept on transfusing blood but that kept ‘flowing out’ literally and the hospital was running out of blood in the morning they said.
Jordan said some time in the night Akena suffered a cardiac arrest and the doctors struggled and revived him and he soldiered on fighting for dear life into the morning.
Due to a possible shortage of blood, Jordan said they tried looking for blood all over Kampala but failed despondently.
By very early morning, friends and family who had since been gathering and camping at the facility volunteered to donate blood and the hospital accepted.
In the morning, the first relative was told to go to a room and donate and bring fresh blood at around 8am.
Jordan said it was at this time that a good friend, a medical doctor arrived at the hospital and as he took him to introduce him to the doctors working on his bother; incidentally one doctor was standing at the entrance and calmly told them “Sorry, we have lost him.”
There were thousands of people at the burial in Kitgum including most Acholi MPs and Community Leader. There were friends from all over Uganda and the Police Chief Kale Kayihura attended too. Dr Kizza Besigye and his wife Winnie Byanyima sent a condolence message and 500K. Many mourners called for a full, unbiased investigation into Akena’s uncircumstantial death. May his soul forever rest in eternal peace.