The Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala has sentenced former principal accountant in Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Geoffrey Kazinda to 15 years imprisonment for illicit enrichment.
Kazinda was arrested in 2012 and arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo, Kampala where he was charged with abuse of office, fraudulent false accounting and one count of causing financial loss.
He was also charged with 26 counts of forgery and conspiracy to commit a felony.
However, the Anti-Corruption court again charged the embattled former principal accountant with amassing illicit wealth.
On Friday, JusticeMargaret Tibulya of the same court, convicted and sentenced Kazinda to 15 years imprisonment after being found guilty of having rented Constellation suites in Nakasero and apartments in Kampala for ten months at a cost of shs 210 million, had a house and land at Kyadondo , Mengo West valued at shs3.1bn, cars including BMW,Mercedes Benz, ML class, Dodge saloon car all valued at shs769 million and diverting over 20bn government funds way beyond his salary.
“The maximum sentence for each of the counts is 10 years but considering the five years you have spent on remand, I have deducted the period to sentence you to five years for each of the three counts. You will serve the punishments consecutively and in total, you will serve 15 years,” Justice Tibulya said.
Following his conviction, the state prosecutor had asked the court to confiscate Kazinda’s property to serve as a lesson to other public servants who would want to engage in similar crimes that cause suffering to citizens in terms of lack of services like roads, hospitals and schools.
In mitigation, Kazinda told court that having served eight years in prison over almost similar offences, his property should be saved as he has two kids and an 80-year-old mother to look after.
Kazinda also asked court to let him walk free since he has spent eight years in Luzira over almost similar charges.
However, Justice Tibulya ruled that cannot let such criminals enjoy fruits of their deeds and ordered the property confiscated.
“Courts cannot allow convicts enjoy fruits of their conduct and allowing them retain proceeds of their crime would be unfair. At such a time when the country is struggling to pay debts over such people, a custodial sentence is inevitable.”
The judge consequently directed that Kazinda’s house and land at Kyadondo, Mengo West and all cars including BMW,Mercedes Benz, ML class, Dodge be confiscated by the state.