KAMPALA – Former Principal Accountant in the office of the Prime Minister, Geoffrey Kazinda has been sentenced to 40 years in prison on several charges including forgery, causing financial loss, and conspiracy respectively.
Justice Margaret Tibulya who presided over the case also ordered Kazinda to pay the government UGX.19 billion restitution.
The judge also said Kazinda should not hold any public office for a period of 10 years from today (September 24, 2021) C/S 46 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2009.
The court said the full judgment will be availed to the public because one of Kazinda’s co-accused was not in court when the judge read the court decision.
Background of the case
The prosecution told the court that in 2008, the Government of Uganda and Development partners entered into a Joint Financing Agreement concerning budget support to the Peace, Recovery, and Development Plan for Northern Uganda (PRDP).
The PRDP was to be implemented through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Office of the Prime Minister. In the financial year 2011/2012, various Development Partners made various financial contributions as budget support meant for PRDP. The Irish Government contributed 4 million Euros. The Danish Government contributed 5 million DKK. The Swedish Government contributed 16 million Swedish Kroner.
The funds were transferred to the Crisis Management and Recovery Programme Account of the Office of the Prime Minister by Okello Wilbert, Principal Systems Analyst/Administrator based at Uganda Computer Services under the Accountant General with the assistance of David Mugisha (Senior Economist) and Bright Atwine (Senior Accountant) in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development), and sent on various fraudulent payments (involving forgeries) with the active involvement of Geoffrey Kazinda, the Principal Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister. The money was wired to several bank accounts of food suppliers and officials who returned it to Geoffrey Kazinda without supplying any goods and services.
The funds were not used for the purpose for which the Government had agreed with the donors. The Government was ultimately forced to refund a total of 26.4 million USD to the donors.
Kazinda and his alleged accomplices were charged with 33 counts of forgery, 33 counts of causing financial loss, and three counts of conspiracy to commit felonies.
Kazinda was, however, convicted on all the counts while Mugisha and Atwine were acquitted by court. Okello did not attend court and a warrant of arrest was issued by the court against him.
Additional reporting by Daily Monitor