7 January 2013

Uganda: Kazinda Trial Starts

The trial of interdicted principal accountant in the Prime Minister's office, Geoffrey Kazinda, starts today (Monday) at the Anti-Corruption Court.

Kazinda faces charges of abuse of office, forgery and making document without authority. Justice David Wangutusi will conduct the trial. Principal state attorney Jane Frances Abodo and State Attorney Paul Lakidi are prosecuting the case. City lawyer MacDosman Kabega represents Kazinda.

Prosecution alleges that Kazinda forged the signature of the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Pius Bigirimana between January and July 2012 intending to use it for fraudulent purposes.

He allegedly also made computer generated serial numbered letters purportedly on Bigirimana' s account. According to prosecution, Kazinda kept at his private residence, the forged computer generated letters and cash withdrawal authorization forms bearing the forged signature.

He allegedly sent of the letters bearing the date of February 10, 2011 to the Director Banking in the Bank of Uganda claiming that it was written by Bigirimana, according to prosecution. Fifteen witnesses have been lined up to testify in the case.

Kazinda also faces separate charges of embezzlement, false accounting and conspiracy to commit a felon jointly with a number of other officials he worked with in the OPM. Hearing of this is slated to start on January28, 2013.

The others are: Martin Owor commissioner for relief disaster preparedness; Beatrice Kezaabu assistant resettlement officer; and Hussein Katumwa station manager of Total Ntinda I Service Station.

The suspects allegedly abused their office and misappropriated sh316, 893,456 meant for procurement of fuel and lubricant for vehicles were meant to deliver relief food from central relief stores to disaster victims in various part of the country.

They conspired to steal money for fuel, according to the Prosecution. But they denied the charges.

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