Another Judgement Day for Kazinda

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KAMPALA. Today Anti-Corruption Court is expected to deliver its judgment in a case were jailed former principal accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Geoffrey Kazinda is accused of embezzlement.
This judgment is expected to be delivered by the trial judge Lawrence Gidudu who has heard the case for the past three years.

In the last court’s appearance , the court assessor Mr Ferrer Okech asked court to acquit Mr Kazinda of charges of abuse of office, embezzlement, causing financial loss of more than Shs316 million to government and diversion of public resources.

Mr Kazinda faces the charges together with three others.

The three are; Ms Beatrice Kezabu (assistant resettlement officer), who is also separately charged with false accounting; Ms Shamim Masembe, the proprietor of TOTAL fuel station in Ntinda, and businessman Hussein Katumwa, the station manager.

They are alleged to have submitted wrong accountabilities for fuel drawn from Caltex Ntinda Service Station now called TOTAL yet no fuel was consumed.

In his opinion to the Court head Justice Lawrence Gidudu, Mr Okech advised that Kazinda who is also accused of having approved the payment of the forged fuel vouchers, which money he would later receive from Mr Katumwa , is not guilty.

“The owner of the said Petrol Station Ms Masembe, in her defence denied having sent any money to Kazinda through her Manager,” Mr Okech submitted.

He also asked court to acquit Mr Katumwa citing that the allegations against him where just hearsay because prosecution did not bring any witness to pin him.

According to Prosecution the money in question was meant to buy 5,000 litres of fuel for vehicles transporting relief food to disaster victims, in various districts, in 2010 but Kazinda and Kezaabu allegedly made false entries claiming that Caltex Ntinda Service Station had supplied fuel to the Prime Minister’s Office whereas not.

However Mr Okech advised court to convict Ms Kezaabu who was responsible for filling fuel orders of non-existent motor vehicles that saw Government lose 316mshs and Ms Masembe of all the 5counts including Conspiracy to defraud, Embezzlement, fraudulent false accounting, forgery and uttering false documents.

Previously Mr Kazinda has been serving 5years in jail for abuse of office, 2 years for forgery and another two years for unlawful possession of government stores.

In another court Mr Kazinda is facing 69 corruption charges of misappropriation of more than Shs5.4b meant for post-war reconstruction in northern Uganda and Karamoja sub-region under the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP). He is also facing three separate charges of illicit enrichment.

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