The Independent (Kampala)

8 January 2013

Uganda: Kazinda Suffering From Depression - Doctor

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 Murchison Bay Maximum Prison doctor, Alex Kakoraki has today confirmed that it is true that Geoffrey Kazinda, the embattled former principal accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister is not currently fit to stand trial at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala.

This too was confirmed by Frank Baine, the Senior Superintendent of Prisons who also doubles as the spokesperson of Prisons. Baine said Kazinda is in poor health and is admitted at Mulago Hospital with severe depression.

Kakoraki was summoned on Jan. 7 to appear in Court following Kazinda's no-show for his scheduled court hearing of his forgery case.

After taking an oath, Kakoraki chronicled the events that have led to Kazinda being rendered unfit to stand trial.

He said, five days ago, Kazinda was found to have 'a pattern of abnormal sleeping habits, coupled with incoherent speech', further noting that all attempts to wake him up yielded nothing, and each time he tried to stand up, Kazinda would stagger.

Kazinda is facing charges of forgery and unlawful possession of government property for which he allegedly used to defraud the government of billions of shillings over a period of one and half years, starting Jan. 25, 2011.

Kakoraki said following thorough medical tests and analysis, he and his colleagues at Murchison Bay hospital came to a conclusion that Kazinda had severe depression since all the medical examinations returned negative results for malaria and increased blood sugar.

The doctor said the Prison hospital had further sought a second opinion from Mulago National Referral Hospital's executive director on Jan. 7 who advised them to re-examine Kazinda both at Mulago and Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital.

Asked whether Kazinda is in position to stand trial, Kakoraki said the hospital's current pre-occupation is to ensure that he is produced in court in a healthy condition. Basing on current medical records, he said, it would not be advisable to try Kazinda now.

"I would not want a scenario where a person is brought to Court and collapses before you," Kakoraki told Justice Wangutusi.

"You would in fact hold us accountable as the concerned institution responsible for his health."

Pressed to give a definite date by which Kazinda would be fit to resume trial, Dr. Kakoraki was evasive and instead noted that the range of specialist health workers both at the Prison hospital and Mulago would work around the clock to ensure that Kazinda recovers.

He said Kazinda's health condition is a gradual condition and it will require time for him to recover. He asked Court to give Kazinda considerable time (at least two-three weeks) for him to regain fitness to stand trial.

"The drugs administered to the patient should be able to enable him to recover by then and be able to stand trial," Kakoraki said. He said the hospital authority will keep Court abreast about Kazinda's health condition.

Contented with Dr. Kakoraki's relay of Kazinda's current health status, Justice Wangutusi granted Kazinda time to recuperate and adjourned the hearing to Jan. 29.

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