New Vision (Kampala)

8 January 2013

Uganda: Kazinda Too Sick to Stand Trial, Doctor Tells Court

Uganda has refunded Sh14 Billion that was allegedly misappropriated. The move comes months after the Irish, Swedish, Nowergian and Danish ... ( Resource: Uganda Refunds Sh14 Billion Aid Money to Ireland

The interdicted principal accountant in the Prime Minister's office, Geoffrey Kazinda, is sick to stand trial, Luzira Maximum Prison doctor has told court.

Dr. Alex Kakoraki accompanied by the Prisons Spokesperson, Frank Mbaine, on Tuesday told the Anti- Corruption Court judge David Wangutusi that Kazinda is still indisposed.

According to Kakoraki , Kazinda was today (Tuesday) taken to Mulago hospital where a team of doctors including psychiatrics from Butabika hospital will examine him.

Justice Wangutusi adjourned the case to January 29.

Court on Monday summoned Dr. Kakoraki to explain Kazinda sickness, following his failure to appear before court.

Kazinda was interdicted over charges of alleged diversion and embezzlement of billions of shillings.

Kazinda whose trial was scheduled to start Monday was not in court because he was reportedly stressed, suffering from high blood pressure, sluggishness and withdrawal symptoms.

At the start of his probe in November, Kazinda was taken to CIID in an ambulance with drips, and subsequently appeared in court with drip injections infused in his blood vessels.

A prison warder Okello Bonny on Monday presented a medical report to court indicating that Kazinda was too sick to stand trial.

However, the judge was unconvinced with the explanation and ordered that that Kakoraki appear in court in person to explain what exactly Kazinda is suffering from.

The Permanent secretary Pius Bigirimana and the Principal accountant in the Prime Minister's office Kenneth Mugumya had been lined up as key prosecution witnesses.

The medical report dated January 7, 2013 and signed by Dr. Kakoraki from Luzira Murchison Bay hospital indicates that Kazinda is stressed, sluggish and has high blood pressure.

"People are always stressed throughout. Let the doctor come and explain to us what the problem is and when he is likely to get better," Wangutusi said.

On December10, 2012 when Kazinda was brought to court to be charged he appeared ill with drip and was supported by prison warders because he could not support himself.

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

Prosecution led by Principal state attorney Jane Frances Abodo and state attorney Paul Lakidi alleged Kazinda, while employed as the principal account in the Prime Munister's office , abused his office when he kept, in a private residence, computer generated letters and cash withdrawal authorization forms bearing forged signature of Pius Bigirimana, the permanent secretary in the Prime Minister's office.

It is also alleged that Kazinda, between January 2012 and July2012 with intent to deceive forged the signature of Bigirimana, claiming it was signed by him.

Prosecution further alleged that Kazinda with intent to 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.

In a separate charge which is yet to start on January28, Kazinda and his co- accused Martin Owor commissioner for relief disaster preparedness in prime minister's office, Beatrice Kezabu assistant resettlement officer and Hussein Katumwa station manager of Total Ntinda I Service Station were charged with embezzlement, false accounting and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Prosecution said Kazinda, Owor, and Kezabu being employed in the Prime Minister's office abused their offices when they allegedly misappropriated sh316, 893,456 meant for procurement of fuel and lubricant 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 Ntinda1 Service Station to steal. They denied the charges.

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