The Anti-Corruption Court yesterday ruled that jailed former principal accountant in the office of the Prime Minister, Geoffrey Kazinda, has a case to answer on corruption charges and ordered him to defend himself.
Justice Margaret Tibulya ruled that Mr Kazinda and his co-accused must defend themselves in the case of stealing more than Shs5.4b meant for post-war reconstruction in northern Uganda and Karamoja under the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan. Mr Kazinda is facing 69 charges of corruption and is already convicted on another and serving the sentence.
“I have listened to all submissions of both counsel and I find that each of the accused persons has a case to answer on all counts. They are all put on defence,” Justice Tibulya ruled yesterday.
Mr Kazinda and his co-accused were in court. He is charged alongside former ministry of Finance officials; Wilbert Okello (principal system analyst), David Mugisha (senior economist) and Bright Atwine (senior accountant).
His lawyers Kasirye Byaruhanga and Company Advocates had asked court to discharge him, saying there was no evidence adduced by the prosecution to show that he was involved in the transfer of any or all the mentioned money from the ministry’s account since it was transferred by Electronic Funds Transfer through United Card Services where he had no access or involvement. In the same court, Mr Kazinda is facing another charge of illicit enrichment with Shs3 billion.
Kazinda is awaiting judgement before another judge, Mr Lawrence Gidudu, on charges of conspiracy to steal and embezzlement of Shs310m. The charges against Kazinda, include abuse of office, embezzlement, causing financial loss of more than Shs316m to government and diversion of public resources. He is jointly charged with Ms Beatrice Kezabu (assistant resettlement officer), Ms Shamim Masembe, the proprietor of TOTAL fuel station in Ntinda, and businessman Hussein Katumwa, the station manager.
Ms Kezabu is facing a separate charge of false accounting.