The Court of Appeal in Kampala has set free city socialite Ivan Kamyuka after overturning his three year jail sentence over the death of John Ahimbisibwe, aka Jonnie, during a Club Guvnor brawl in 2015.
A panel of three justices including Elizabeth Musoke, Eva Luswata and Christopher Gashirabake reasoned with Kamyuka that he didn’t intend to kill Jonnie but rather he fought back after being attacked by the deceased.
“The confirmed facts are that the deceased first attacked and injured the appellant’s wife. The appellant justifiably intervened to protect his wife and a fight ensued between the two men. Neither had weapon but only fists,” the three judges noted in the judgment.
In his sentence, High Court judge, Wilson Kwesiga said that although the deceased had provoked Kamyuka, the latter used excessive force in fighting back leading to the former’s death.
He consequently sentenced Kamyuka to three years after convicting him of manslaughter, prompting him to appeal the sentence.
However, in the judgement, justices of the Court of Appeal ruled that there was nothing like excessive force used by Kamyuka.
“By returning a blow upon a blow, he was using force commensurate to the attack. He did not as the trial judge found, have to wait for the aid of a mediator or security personnel to defend himself.”
The judges reasoned with Kamyuka that evidence provided by prosecution could not sustain the charge of manslaughter , and that whereas both the deceased and Kamyuka fought, the evidence present could not even sustain a lesser charge of affray under section 79 of the Penal Code Act.
“Although the altercation happened in a public place, no proof was advanced the fighting was mutual or that the appellant provoked it. The appellant acted in self defence and under provocation.”
“Since the appeal has succeeded on all the four grounds raised, the appellant is acquitted of the charge of manslaughter leading to the death of John Ahimbisibwe. He is fully discharged,” the justices of the Court of Appeal ruled.
Kamyuka was arrested in 2015 for stabbing John Ahimbisibwe with a broken glass at Club Guvnor, in Kampala during a fight.
The incident happened after Ahimbisibwe attacked Kamyuka’s girlfriend, prompting the latter to fight back .