PS Bigirimana testifies against Kazinda in court
Posted Friday, February 15 2013 at 02:00
The Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Mr Pius Bigirimana, yesterday testified against interdicted principal accountant Geoffrey Kazinda, explaining how the latter forged his signature to withdraw money worth millions of shillings from government coffers.
Mr Bigirimana and Mr Kazinda appeared at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo yesterday, the former as the ninth prosecution witness and the latter as the suspect in the case of alleged of fraud leading to the loss of billions of donor money.
The permanent secretary told court that Mr Kazinda forged his (Bigirimana) signature on security papers of Bank of Uganda and cash withdraw authorisation forms requesting for transfer of funds to his personal accounts.
“It was me, the permanent secretary, and the interdicted principal accountant (Kazinda) who had to sign the security papers and cash withdraw forms but the purported signatures on 12 security papers and around eight withdraw forms were not mine. But I am not so sure because I am not a handwriting expert,” said Mr Bigirimana, adding that his specimen signature has since been taken for examination.
However, Mr Bigirimana amused court when he failed to tell the amount of money allegedly lost as a result of the forgery. Describing Mr Kazinda as a “bad character in office,” the permanent secretary told court that the interdicted principal accountant used to “mix up” funds of different departments without his consent. Court also heard that Mr Bigirimana’s original statement had disappeared, throwing court into laughter.
Mr Kazinda has since denied the charges of abuse of office, forgery and unlawful possession of government property. Other witnesses who have testified include; Mr Arthur Mumanyire, an accountant, Mr Isaiah Oonyo, an assistant accountant, Mr Kenneth Mugumya, the acting principal accountant, and the principal personnel officer, Ms Grace Nalumu.
The court has set today (February 15) for further hearing of the case.
Mr Kazinda is also facing charges of fraud before the Chief Magistrates court.
He is charged jointly with the commissioner for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Management, Mr John Owor, and Ms Beatrice Kezabu, the assistant resettlement officer in OPM.