7 January 2013

Uganda: Geoffrey Kazinda Trial Set to Start

Kampala — The trial of the interdicted principal accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister, Geoffrey Kazinda, starts today at the Anti-Corruption Court.

Kazinda, who is in detention in Luzira Prison, is charged with abuse of office, forgery and making document without authority.

The trial will be presided over by Justice David Wangutusi, while principal state attorney Jane Frances Abodo and Paul Lakidi will be the state prosecutor. Kazinda will be represented by MacDosman Kabega.

Prosecution alleged that Kazinda, while employed as the principal accountant in the Prime Minister's office, abused his office when he kept, in a private residence, computer generated letters and cash withdrawal authorisation forms bearing forged signatures of Pius Bigirimana, the permanent secretary in the Prime Minister's office.

It is also alleged that Kazinda, between January 2012 and July 2012, with intent to deceive, forged the signature of Bigirimana, claiming that it was signed by him.

Prosecution further alleged that Kazinda with intent to defraud or deceive made computer-generated letters, serial number 243607 on account of Bigirimana, dated February10, 2011, addressed to the director of banking, Bank of Uganda, purporting that it was signed by Bigirimana.

A total of 15 witnesses have been lined up to testify against Kazinda.

In a separate charge, which is yet to start on January 28, Kazinda and his co-accused Martin Owor, Beatrice Kezabu and Hussein Katumwa, were charged with embezzlement, false accounting and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Prosecution said the trio abused their offices when they allegedly misappropriated sh316m meant for fuel and lubricants for motor vehicles.

The vehicles were meant to deliver relief food from central relief stores to disaster victims in various part of the country.

The suspects allegedly conspired to steal money for fuel.

Prosecution said the three accused persons conspired with Katumwa, a fuel manager of Total Ntinda, to steal. They denied the charges.

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