The trial of Incarcerated former principal accountant in the Prime Minister’s office Geoffrey Kazinda is expected to begin today in the Anti-corruption court.
Kazinda is charged with 36 counts of forgery, embezzlement and causing financial loss. The charges arise from the mismanagement scandal that has since rocked the Office of the Prime Minister in which government officials are alleged to have embezzled Shs 50 billion.
The money in question was meant for the peace and recovery development program of Northern Uganda from more than two decades of war.
Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister is the principal state witness in the case alongside 14 others who have been lined up by the Principal state attorney Jane Francis Abodo.
Kazinda, a key suspect in the fraud is represented by McDusman Kabega and Isaac Walukagga, and he will begin his defence before Justice David Wangutusi.
Kazinda who was interdicted on August 10, 2012, has denied all the charges brought against him saying they were cooked up during his sick leave. In a police statement he made in July, the former PA described the charges as baseless and unfounded.
He denied forging any signatures in the same statement although documents recovered from his Bukoto residence during a police search had the PS’ signature.
“As for the signatures on the rest of the blank cash withdraw authorization forms to BoU, I can confirm that Mr Bigirimana endorsed them personally. This was his emergency arrangement strategy in case he is out of the country. Given that I was out long on sick leave, my office could easily be accessed by other people,”
A special audit by the Auditor General discovered substantial evidence detailing how aid from Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark was transferred to unauthorised accounts. Over the past few years, several donor nations including the UK, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and Denmark, have provided in excess of Shs70 billion for reconstruction efforts in northern Uganda. The donors have since suspended aid over the scam.