Kazinda Appeals 5 Year Sentence

Jailed former Principal Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Geoffrey Kazinda has appealed against the recent five year jail term handed to him, saying he is unhappy with the sentence.

Former Principal Accountant in the OPM Geoffrey Kazinda
Former Principal Accountant in the OPM Geoffrey Kazinda

Mr Kazinda filed the appeal before the Court of Appeal in Kampala on June 27.

On June 26, Anti Corruption Court Judge David Wangutsi sentenced Mr Kazinda to five years in jail for one count of abuse of office, and one count of making a document without authority.

He was also sentenced to 2 years for each of the 26 counts of forgery and one count of unlawful possession of government stores. The judge said all the sentences are to run concurrently bringing the total number of imprisonment period to five years.

In his verdict, Justice Wangutsi said Mr Kazinda was at liberty to appeal against his sentence within 14 days if he was dissatisfied.

In his appeal, Mr Kazinda only appeals against the charge of forgery and abuse of office leaving out the charges of making a document without authority and unlawful possession of government stores.

Mr Kazinda who faces more two separate before the Anti Corruption, filed his appeal by instructing the Upper Luzira prisons officers to file on his behalf instead of his lawyers.

Core to this fraud is that Mr Kazinda forged 26 signatures of his then former PS in the OPM, Pius Bigirimana with the intention to defraud the OPM of billions of shillings.

Court relied on circumstantial evidence to squarely link Mr Kazinda to forgery since there was no witness who saw him forge Bigirmana’s signature.

The documents that he forged included; Security Papers and Withdraw Forms (both very high sensitive documents that are used in transfer of huge sums of money), were recovered by police from the home of Kazinda’s mother in Bukoto, Kampala after a thorough search.

While delivering the verdict last week, Justice Wangutsi noted that Mr Kazinda forging a signature of a permanent secretary, who was in control of huge sums of money, most of it donor funds to alleviate the plight of disaster victims in the country, was a serious matter.

Court is yet to fix a date to hear his appeal and decide whether the trial judge erred in convicting and sentencing him or uphold his verdict.

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