Friday August 1 2014

Hearing of Kazinda fraud case flops

File Photo.

File Photo. 

By Juliet Kigongo

High Court in Kampala on Thursday yet again adjourned the case in which jailed former senior principal accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister, Geoffrey Kazinda, is accused of diverting public resources.

Kazinda is facing charges of abuse of office, embezzlement, causing financial loss of more than Shs316 million and diversion of public resources. He, with others; Beatrice Kezabu, Shamim Masembe, businessman Hussein Katumwa appeared before the Anti-Corruption court for plea taking.

Kazinda was charged alongside the assistant resettlement officer Ms Beatrice Kezabu who is also charged with false accounting, Ms Shamim Masembe, the proprietor and sole signatory of Total Fuel Station Ntinda and businessman Hussein Katumwa, the station manager.

The High Court Registrar of the Anti-Corruption Division, Mr Fred Waninda set September 8 as the date when the accused persons will take their plea.

“This case is adjourned to September 8 when the trial judge will be around for plea taking and constitutional reference if any,” Mr Waninda said.

Prosecution alleges that the accused falsely made accountability for Shs316 million for the financial year 2010/11, which money was entrusted to them for procurement of fuel and lubricant for vehicles delivering relief food items to various areas.

Mr Kazinda is still facing 69 new charges in the same court in connection with theft of donor aid meant for northern Uganda and Karamoja. The charges relate to the misappropriation of more than Shs5.4b meant for post-war reconstruction in northern Uganda and Karamoja sub-regions under the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP).

This is the third time Kazinda is charged in the High Court, Anti-Corruption Division on different charges before different judges.
Justice David Wangutusi in June last year ruled that Kazinda was guilty of 29 counts of fraud as had been indicated by the prosecution thus handing him a five year jail term in prison.