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Kazinda Trial Flops Again Over Ill-health

The much anticipated corruption trial of suspended Principal Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Geoffrey Kazinda, failed to take off on Monday. Kazinda, who was arrested in July last year, was reportedly ill suffering from a soft neck condition at Luzira Prison and could not stand in the dock.
The much anticipated corruption trial of suspended Principal Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Geoffrey Kazinda, failed to take off on Monday.

This was after Kazinda, who was arrested in July last year, was reportedly ill suffering from a soft neck condition at Luzira Prison and could not stand in the dock.

Subsequently, the presiding judge, Justice David Wangutusi of the Anti Corruption Court, summoned Dr Mike Kokolach of Luzira to appear in court on Tuesday and explain Kazinda's illness.

This is the fourth time Kazinda is failing to show up in court over medical reasons. The prosecution led by Jane Francis Abodo has on all these appearances been ready to commence the trial with the key witness being Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the OPM. According to Bigirimana, Kazinda connived with some officials in the ministry of finance to defraud the OPM.

Kazinda faces 29 counts of fraud and abuse of office. Prosecution alleges that Kazinda and others still at large on or after May 9, 2012 at UCB Zone, Bukoto Nakawa Division in Kampala district, forged the signature of Bigirimana in the computer-generated letter (Security paper). The said letter was addressed to director in charge banking at Bank of Uganda purporting that the signature is that of Pius Bigirimana whereas not.

He is also facing charges of abuse of office. It is alleged that Kazinda abused the authority of his office when he forged Bigirimana’s signature. He is also accused of possession of government stores where it is alleged that on July 22, 2012 he was found in possession of government of Uganda cash withdrawal authorization forms books at his residence, which were suspected to have been obtained unlawfully.

Kazinda denies the charges.

At the heart of the case is the mismanagement of 50 billion shillings from the OPM. The money was meant to fund post-war resettlement activities in Northern Uganda under Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP).

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