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Police dig up Kazinda house in search of stolen money

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Police and CIID officers guard Kazinda’s home while searching for stolen government money suspected to have been hidden in a bunker inside the house. photo by Abubaker Lubowa 

By Dear Jeanne

Posted  Sunday, January 12  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Futile attempt? Three days of intensive drilling and breaking had yielded nothing of prosecution value by Friday evening.

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Kampala.

Detectives from the police Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) are drilling through the floors and walls of the house of corruption convict Godfrey Kazinda in search of stolen government money suspected to have been hidden in a bunker inside his house in Bukoto, a Kampala suburb.
Kazinda, the former Principal Accountant in the Prime Minister’s Office, was convicted of forging the Permanent Secretary’s signature, apparently to embezzle government money.
He is on trial on other charges of corruption, which is part of a wider racket in which the government was fleeced of at least Shs150 billion.

Determined
By Friday evening, police had dismantled the whole floor of the sitting room and bedroom and the demolition was still going on.
The joint operation led by the CIID director, Ms Grace Akullo, together with Deputy Director Geoffrey Musana, acting deputy director Criminal Intelligence Charles Asaba and deputy commandant of the Fire Brigade Hassan Kihanda began on Thursday.
Ms Akullo told the Sunday Monitor that the operation would continue to its logical conclusion.

“We are searching Kazinda’s home based on intelligence information that he kept money here. We will also search for any other evidence that may aid his prosecution,” Ms Akullo said.
A former guard at Kazinda’s residence, Mr Edward Okure, was recently remanded to Luzira Prison on robbery charges. He is accused of stealing unknown sums of money at Kazinda’s house.

Secret revealed
It is said during interrogation, Okure told police that Kazinda had stashed bags of money in a bunker inside his house. This prompted the police to open up the building.
Sources privy to the ongoing operation told the Sunday Monitor that a team from the fire and rescue squad was using electronic drills and chain saws to break the floor and walls of the mansion.
The search may take more days because the building is huge.
According to sources, the building was initially constructed to serve as a hotel but police arrested Kazinda before the business plan could come to fruition.
On Thursday, police took a break at 9:30pm after seven hours of a fruitless search and later resumed.

djeanne@ug.nationmedia.com