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Kanyamunyu’s lawyers question competency of gov’t’s analytical laboratory

FILE PHOTO: Kanyamunyu trial

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The defense team in the trial of Matthew Kanyamunyu and his girlfriend, Cynthia Munwangari for the murder of Child Right’s Activist, Kenneth Akena has challenged the competency of the Government Analytical Laboratory-GAL.

Kanyamunyu’s lawyers led by MacDusman Kabega contend that the Government Analytical Laboratory is incompetent since it isn’t accredited by the International Standards Organization-ISO.

The competence of GAL came under question during the cross examination of Robinah Kirinya, the Principal Government Analyst from GAL, which is located in Wandegeya over her testimony in Kanyamunyu’s matter. Kirinya discovered gunshot residue from Kanyamunyu’s Car, trouser and long sleeved shirt.

While appearing before High Court Judge, Steven Mubiru on Wednesday evening for cross examination, one of the defense lawyers asked the witness whether GAL is accredited by the International Standards Organization.  In her response, Kirinya said GAL isn’t yet accredited by ISO but hastened to add that they are in the processes of accreditation.

She however, said they currently participate in International Proficiency Testing exercises whereby ISO sends samples to GAL, which are sent back for confirmation whether their findings are correct. Kabega asked Kirinya how often this happens, but she said they are only going to start receiving the samples this year.

Kabega reminded Kirinya that about four years ago the East African Community attempted to have one Forensic Analytical Laboratory in the in region that would be jointly funded to meet International Standards.  Kirinya declined to confirm the claim, saying she doesn’t have any documentation to that effect.

In 2012, the EAC Council of Ministers resolved that Kampala should host a Regional Forensic Referral Centre-RFRC as the center for excellence in forensic service delivery as well as hosting the East African Police Chief’s Cooperation Organization and the African Police Cooperation Organization.

In October 2019, the Ugandan Parliament declared that it was unconstitutional for the Police, Land Commission and Tip Top Investments Limited; a Private firm to enter into a tripartite agreement to design and construct the said center on behalf of the Government without approval from the Attorney General.

During the cross examination, Caleb Alaka also a Defense Lawyer asked Kirinya the circumstances under, which gunshot residues would be found on one’s belongings.  Kirinya answered that if someone fires a gun or touches the injured part of a gunshot victim, whatever he or she touches gets contaminated with residues.

Alaka continued asking questions on gunshot residues relying from a Journal he reportedly downloaded from the internet. This didn’t go down well with the Prosecution led by Jonathan Muwaganya. He raised objection saying that they hadn’t been served with the copy of the journal and couldn’t tell whether what the defense was saying was wrong or correct.

As a result, Justice Mubiru adjourned the case to later in the today for Kanyamunyu’s lawyers to share the copy of the Journal with the Prosecutors before court resumes. Prosecution alleges that on November 12th 2016 while at Malik Car Bond Opposite Uganda Manufacturer’s Association in Lugogo in Nakawa Division, Kanyamunyu and Munwangari unlawfully caused the death of Akena, 33 by shooting him in the stomach for denting their vehicle.

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