New Vision (Kampala)

9 January 2013

Uganda: Kazinda May Die in Court - Doctor

Geoffrey Kazinda could easily collapse and die in court if he is forced to stand trial in his state of health, the Prisons Doctor Alex Kakoraki told the Anti-corruption Court Tuesday.

He said that the interdicted Office of the Prime Minister's Principal Accountant is too ill to stand trial and has been referred to Mulago Hospital for further examination and treatment.

"Based on our assessment, I don't think he can stand trial at this point in time. My Lord, I don't want him to collapse before you...," Dr. Kakoraki told Justice David Wangutusi at the Anti-Corruption Court.

He added that he cannot say how long this state will take but that the drugs that Kazinda is taking will begin to show results in three weeks.

Kazinda is at the heart of the over sh40bn fraud in the Prime Minister's Office over which donors withheld aid from Uganda and the Government arrested him and several of his colleagues from his office, Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank.

Several other officials of the prime Minister's Office have been quizzed over the said corruption scandal.

Wangutusi summoned the doctor on Monday to Court yesterday to explain the letter he had sent from Prison saying Kazinda could not appear for the commencement of his trial due to ill health.

Dr. Kakoraki said that he found that Kazinda had abnormal sleeping habits coupled with incoherent speech. "Attempts to wake him up have not yielded any fruit. If he tries to stand he staggers as if he would fall," Dr. Kakoraki said.

He said that Kazinda's condition prompted him to consult other doctors who found that he was depressed.

Depression, he said, is a health condition characterised by sadness and anxiety and negatively impacts on the health and life of the patient. He said that all the basic tests found Kazinda without sickness.

However at Mulago, a hospital staff who preferred anonymity said a diagnosis found that Kazinda had diabetes and goiter (malfunctioning thyroid).

Dressed in the yellow prisons Uniform, Kazinda arrived at Mulago's private wing at 9.00 am under tight security by Prisons warders.

In the trial whose commencement aborted on Monday, Kazinda faces charges of abuse of office, forgery and making document without authority.

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.

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.

Fifteen witnesses have been lined up to testify in the case. The case was adjourned January 29, 2012 for mention.

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