Gender ministry PS to testify against Kazinda

By Edward Anyoli

Kazinda is accused of embezzling sh316m that was meant for fuel in the OPM.

KAMPALA - The permanent secretary in the ministry of gender and labour has been lined up as a state witness against Geoffrey Kazinda, the former principal account in the officer Prime Minister (OPM)

Pius Bigirimana is set to testify in a case which Kazinda is accused of embezzling sh316m that was meant for fuel in the OPM.

Prosecution team led by David Bisamunyu and Tom Walugembe yesterday told the Anti- corruption court presided over by Justice Lawrence Gidudu that Bigirmana will form part of the prosecution witness.

Kazinda, Beatrice Kezabu assistant resettlement officer, Shamim Masembe businesswoman and Hussein Katumwa station manager of Total Service station Ntinda1, are accused of conspiracy to defraud OPM of sh316m.

On May26, it will be the second time for Bigirimana to testify against Kazinda. In 2013 he also testified and accused Kazinda of mismanaging funds before Justice David Wangututsi.

In 2013 the Anti- corruption Court convicted Kazinda of charges abuse of office, forgery and making documents without authority and sentenced him to five years. He was also convicted of charge of unlawful possession of government stores.

Prosecution alleged that  Kazinda,Kezabu,Masembe and Katumwa between June 2010 and February 2011 conspired to defraud office of the prime minister of sh316,893,456.

On charges of embezzlement, prosecution said Kazinda and Kezabu while employed as principal accountant and assistant resettlement officer respectively in Prime's office stole sh316m.

It is alleged Kezabu between June 2010 and February2011 while employed as a resettlement officer with intention to defraud office of the prime minister made false entries in fuel authorised forms claiming that Total Ntinda1 Service station had been properly paid sh316m.

 On fraudulent accounting prosecution accused Kazinda and Kezabu respectively of making false entries in fuel invoices claiming that Total Service station had supplies fuel worth sh316m to OPM

 It alleged that Kezabu  between June 2010 and February2011 in  Kampala  with intention  to  defraud  made fake entries in  fuel authorised  form number 3859 claiming  that Total Ntinda1 Service was  to supply 800 litres of diesel  to OPM on  June3, 2010.

 In a separate case which is already fixed for hearing before Justice Margaret Tibulya of Anti- Corruption High Court, Kazinda is charged jointly with three officials from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development over diverting public fund amounting to a sh20b.

 Wilbert  Okello  a principal  system analyst,  David Mugisha a senior  economist  and  Bright Atwine a  senior  accountant  were charged with diverting funds intended  for  the  Peace Recovery and Development  plan for  Northern  Uganda. They denied the charges.