NewsEast & Horn AfricaMPs want public fund thief tried by ICC

Thu,24Apr2014

Posted on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 17:43

MPs want public fund thief tried by ICC

By Godfrey Olukya

Ugandan legislators have called for a motion that could see senior civil servants from the Prime Minister's office, who are accused of misappropriating donor funds, being tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 

The legislators, from Acholi in the northern part of the country, want the principal accountant in the Prime Minister's office, Geoffrey Kazinda and his colleagues taken to the ICC on allegations of misappropriating US$10 million.

Under the umbrella name of the Acholi Parliamentary Group, the parliamentarians say the misappropriation of donor funds was tantamount to crimes against humanity.

Kazinda, the prime suspect, is already on remand in Luzira Prison and court proceedings have started in the matter, while some of his accomplices are still at large.

The misappropriated funds were meant for the Peace Recovery and Development Programme in the war-torn sub-region of Acholi and were donated by countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, among others.

Loss of Lives

LRA rebels led by Joseph Kony killed hundreds of people in northern Uganda, while more than 2 million were displaced in a civil war that lasted for more than 15 years.

The donated funds were meant to help in the rehabilitation and construction of infrastructure after the end of the civil war.

"The architects of the theft of funds meant for the Peace Recovery and Development Programme are worse than the rebel leader Joseph Kony. Kazinda and his colleagues should be taken to ICC for trial," chairperson of the Acholi Parliamentary Group, Lowila Oketayot said.

She said her group was in consultation with its members in the diaspora with the intention of opening cases at the International Criminal Court to investigate the suspects in relation to their actions that caused the loss of lives.

The lawmakers demanded authorities to ensure all those responsible for misappropriation of the funds, including some diplomats to be brought to justice immediately.

Lowila asked the government to compensate the intended recipients of the donations instead of refunding the money to the donors.

She condemned the government action of using the taxpayer's money to return 11 billion shillings to the donors swindled by individuals.

After complaints from donors, the government of Uganda has used taxpayer's money to refund the looted money to the donor countries.



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