Thursday January 10 2013

Kazinda is not sick, Mulago medics say

By Agatha Ayebazibwe

The Executive Director of Mulago Hospital Dr Byarugaba Baterana on Thursday refuted reports that he recommended that interdicted Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) accountant, Geoffrey Kazinda, be taken to Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital for depression treatment.

Mr Geoffrey Kazinda, who is set to appear before the Anti-Corruption Court, is charged with abuse of office, forgery and unlawful possession of government property. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Dr Baterana said a medical report by a team of experts who examined Mr Kazinda at Mulago Hospital on Tuesday showed that he has obesity-related problems and hypertension, and that he has no sign of depression.

“From the report, our doctors did not recommend bed rest nor did they refer him to Butabika for depression treatment. We can comfortably say that he is not so sick as not to attend court a hearing. He is fit for trial,” said Dr Baterana.

Dr Fred Nakwagala who led the team of physicians that examined Mr Kazinda found that he has both the mental and physical capacity to attend the hearing.

This is contrary to what the Medical Officer from Luzira Prison, Dr Alex Kakoraki, told Court on Tuesday that Kazinda is suffering from depression and hence cannot testify in court.

Mr Kakoraki also told court that they had sought a second opinion from Mulago Hospital where the executive director (Dr Baterana) advised them to give Mr Kazinda bed rest, an allegation which the hospital executive director denies.

Mr Kazinda is a lead suspect in the OPM fraud scam that led to the loss of billions of shillings in donor aid.