6 January 2013

Uganda: How Bigirimana Will Pin Kazinda On Fraud

Pius Bigirimana, the permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is expected in the anti-Corruption court tomorrow, as the principal witness in a case against former Principal Accountant, Geoffrey Kazinda.

Bigirimana is expected to explain to court how Kazinda, who faces 29 counts of fraud, connived with some officials in the ministry of finance to defraud the OPM. Bigirimana, who is also treated as the whistleblower in the case, is the first and principal witness, whose evidence prosecution is relying on to convict Kazinda.

According to documents, recorded by Bigirimana which The Observer has seen, the PS will tell Justice David Wangutusi that Kazinda had a private office on the first floor of Postal Building, (which also houses the OPM), where he carried out his dubious transactions.

However, Bigirimana is also wanted by police to explain a string of questionable expenditures in the OPM. These include Shs 14bn, suspected to have been withdrawn by Kazinda, although Bigirimana now insists that the money was taken without his authority. Kazinda was arrested in August 2012 after investigations into the OPM found that he was answerable for at least Shs 50bn, allotted to the Peace, Recovery and Development Programme, that supported projects in northern and eastern Uganda.

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