Acholi MPs want Kazinda trial in Gulu
Posted Wednesday, February 20 2013 at 02:00
Justice. The lawmakers want Acholi residents to attend the hearing as was the case with Thomas Kwoyelo.
The trial of Mr Geoffrey Kazinda and his co- accused in the financial scam at the Office of the Prime Minister should be transferred to northern Uganda, its area of jurisdiction, area MPs have demanded.
Dressed in black T-shirts with inscription, “Architects of PRDP theft worse than Kony’s LRA”, the legislators yesterday said the scam was an abuse and an indictment on their people.
They said they wanted a case similar to the one between the government and Thomas Kwoyelo, a former LRA rebel, when Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki established a war crimes division in the region so that Acholi residents could attend the court proceedings.
“We demand that the Chief Justice issues a directive that trials of OPM scandal suspects be taken to northern region just as was the war tribunal to allow citizens witness first hand justice and heal,” Ms Lowila Oketayot, the caucus deputy chairperson, said.
Mr Odonga Otto (AruuCounty) said: “We believe the Kazindas did not steal from donors but from the Acholi.”
The MPs also want all named officials behind the scam and their families banned from travelling to any of the donor countries.
In their statement presented by Ms Oketayot, the lawmakers demanded for the immediate resignation of the Minister in-charge of the Northern region, Ms Rebecca Atengo, for allegedly not doing her work.
Ms Otengo was quoted at the weekend apologising to people in the northern region over government’s failure to fully implement, rehabilitate and resettle them.
While in Gulu District, she said even if the money under PRDP was embezzled by officials in the OPM, the government was looking for alternative sources to recover it.
Ms Otengo was not available for comment yesterday when contacted.