26 November 2012

Uganda: Prison Bosses Defend Kazinda's Absence at Pac

Former Principal Accountant in the Office Prime Minister (OPM), Geoffrey Kazinda was a no where to be seen at Parliament on Monday like it was earlier reported.

Kazinda who is facing 28 charges of abuse of office and forgery is on remand at Luzira prisons and was today supposed to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) together with the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's office, Pius Bigirimana.

The committee which was expectantly waiting for his appearance was met with disappointment as Uganda prisons spokesperson Frank Baine said his bosses had sought the legal advice of the Attorney General.

He said that it would be breaking Kazinda's human rights laws by parading him in front of the PAC committee when at the same time he is going to court over the same charges.

"The small challenge is that Kazinda is in court. We don't know whether we wouldn't need a court production order. Don't you think testifying before PAC will interfere with what is in court?" Baine asked.

The Judiciary also expressed discomfort over a possible flouting of the spirit of separation of powers by another arm of government.

Judiciary spokesperson Erias Kisawuzi noted that Kazinda's appearance before PAC could lead to "a problem of conflict of powers" since Kazinda has already been arraigned in court.

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