The former Principal Accountant in the office of the Prime Minister Goeffrey Kazinda has this morning been sentenced to five years in jail by the Anti-corruption Court.
Last week, Justice David Wangutusi of the Anti-Corruption Division ruled that Kazinda, whose trial has been the talk of the nation, was guilty of 29 counts of fraud as had been indicated by the prosecution.
The details of the sentence are; Abuse of office (5 years), 25 counts of forgery (2 years for each), 1 count on making documents without authority (5 years).
He will serve all above sentences concurrently which makes it 5 years.
Justice Wangutusi explained that he had arrived at the ruling after considering the unstable health of Kazinda, his stay on remand for 8 months and being a head of a family.
He also said Kazinda was repentant and had shown remorse for his actions. He advised Kazinda who was dressed in a grey suite, pink shirt and Maroon tie to appeal to a higher court if he is dissatisfied with the judgment.
The documents that Kazinda forged included; Security Papers and Withdraw Forms both very high sensitive documents that are used in transfer of huge sums of money. They were recovered by police from the home of Kazinda’s mother in Bukoto, Kampala, after a thorough search.
Court relied on circumstantial evidence to link Kazinda to forgery charges since there was no witness who saw him forge Bigirimana’s signature. However, no money was lost in this case though prosecution says he had intentions of defrauding OPM if the situation had not been arrested early.
During mitigation process last Wednesday, Principal State Attorney, Jane Frances Abodo, asked court to hand Kazinda the maximum custodial sentence of seven years to send a strong signal to those involved in corruption since the vice is on the increase.
Last year, the Auditor General John Muwanga’s draft report found that at least Shs50 billion in aid from Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark had been misused.
This forced five donor nations as well as the European Union and the World Bank to suspend 93 per cent of budget support to Uganda. The donors have also put stringent conditions on government to stop further abuses.
In November last year, the EU ambassador to Uganda announced that the EU, United Kingdom, the World Bank, Austria and other countries had suspended up to $300 million promised in budget support each year, up to 2013.