Geoffrey Kazinda was wrongly convicted and erroneously served a five-year jail term handed to him by the Anti-corruption court for forging the signature of his former boss Pius Bigirimana, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
The court also ordered for the immediate release of Kazinda, a former Principal Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
He was arrested on July 22, 2012.
Justices Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Stephen Musota and Percy Tuhaise on Wednesday overturned Kazinda’s conviction after faulting Judge David Wangututsi of failing to properly evaluate the evidence adduced before him and which found Kazinda guilty of abuse of office, forgery and being in unlawful possession of government stores.
In 2013, Kazinda was sentenced to five years in prison for abuse of office, two years for forgery and another two years for unlawful possession of government stores. The sentences were to run concurrently.
The three justices concurred with Kazinda that police and the prosecution carried out sloppy investigations that failed to prove that the cash withdraw forms and security papers bearing a forged signature of Bigirimnana were indeed found at Teopista Nanfuka home.
Nanfuka is Kazinda’s mother.
According to the evidence on record, there was neither a search certificate nor any photographic evidence tendered in court showing how the police search team retrieved the said documents from a room at Nanfuka’s residence.
The justices were therefore persuaded by Kazinda’s submission that in absence of this photographic evidence, the documents which formed a basis of these charges could have been planted by the search team which went to search his mother’s home with documents in a bag and an envelope.
He will however continue serving another five year jail sentence handed to him by the Anti -corruption court for causing a Shs316 million loss in forged fuel receipts to the OPM.