Justice Lawrence Gidudu of the Anti-Corruption Court has found Geoffrey Kazinda, the former principal accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister, and 3 others guilty of defrauding, embezzling, and conspiring to steal Shs316 million in June 2012.
This is the second time Kazinda is convicted by the Anti-Corruption Court the first one being In June 2013 (see full court proceeding bottom) when he was found guilty of forging the then Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana’s signature and was sentenced to five years which he has since completed.
Kazinda still has a pending case file for trial where he is jointly charged with officials of the Finance Ministry for allegedly misappropriating sh21 billion from the NRDP funds meant to rehabilitate the war torn Northern Uganda.
Co-accused get fines ranging from sh10m to sh50m
Justice Lawrence Gidudu on Wednesday sentenced Kanzinda’s co-accused persons to fines ranging from sh10 to 50 million reasoning that they jumped on the theft bandwagon after their master planner Kazinda had crafted the plot.
Beatrice Keezabu a clerk from the OPM will pay sh50 million after the judge found out that she facilitated the said theft by entering false enteries in Fuel Order Forms well knowing that no fuel had been drawn .
Other convicts Shamim Masembe had Hussein Katumwa will have to pay sh10m each for helping Kazinda realise the fruits of his crimes as they let their fuel station, former Caltex Ntinda, to be used as the conduit of the theft.
The judge however ordered that if Keezabu, Masembe and Katumwa fail to pay their respective fines, each serves a one year imprisonment term at Luzira prison.
The four convicts have also been ordered to refund to government the stolen sh316 million shillings on top of not being employed in public service for a period of ten years.
Kazinda and his junior Beatrice Kezabu are said to have forged accountability of Shs312 million meant for fuel, which investigations revealed was never consumed.