Court has declined to give a custodial sentence to the former principal accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Geoffrey Kazinda.
Justice Lawrence Gidudu of the Anti-corruption Court convicted Kazinda who has spent over nine years in prison after finding him guilty of embezzling over Shs300m which monies were part of the Peace Recovery and Development Plan funds (PRDP) meant for Northern Uganda.
The judge explained that Kazinda was charged separately for his trial but all these crimes arose from his employment in the OPM and in this particular case, he appeared for a plea in 2019 and has been on remand for four years in jail.
“Considering that he has been on remand for four years which would have covered the five years imprisonment for this particular case, I do not consider more imprisonment for the convict who has been in prison for over 10 years and still counting. The mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors,” Justice Gidudu ruled.
Court also noted that Kazinda has been in prison since 2012 battling one case after the other and maybe more cases are coming, and as such more imprisonment does not add value.
“I have lost interest to send him to prison because it makes no sense now. I am inclined to impose a custodial sentence and therefore impose a fine under the law of 356 currency points (Shs7.3m),” he told the court
Justice Gidudu further warned Kazinda that if he fails to pay, then he will spend 12 months in prison and pay a compensation of over Sh300m to the government and suffer a 10-year ban from any public office.
Justice Gidudu acquitted Kazinda’s co-accused, Mr Isaiah Oonyu, his former assistant, reasoning that the case against him was based on improper assumptions not supported by evidence.
While convicting Kanzida, the judge noted that he was satisfied that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt charges of embezzlement against him.
This is the sixth time Kazinda is being convicted and sentenced for causing the government to lose huge sums of money.
The cases and sentences include; 15 years for forgery, illicit wealth, and financial loss, five years for abuse of office, and two years for forgery and illegal possession of government stores among others.