The Supreme Court has stayed the execution of the Constitutional Court ruling which directed for the release of former principal accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister Godfrey Kazinda.
This comes after the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed the Constitutional Court ruling issued on August 7 last year which permanently stayed all corruption proceedings against Kazinda.
Kazinda was arrested in 2012 and charged at the anti-corruption court with corruption related charges which included embezzlement, causing financial loss, forgery and abuse of office.
In November last year, Justice Margret Tibulya found Kazinda of the Anti-Corruption court found him guilty of three counts of forgery, accumulating abnormal wealth and financial loss instituted against him by the Inspectorate of Government back in 2016 and handed him 15 years in jail.
In 2014 he filed a constitutional petition alleging that section 29, 30 and 59 of the trial on indictment articles 89, 90, and 91 of the magistrates courts act contravenes articles 28(9) of the constitution and prayed for declaration to that effect.
In the judgement, Justice Kenneth Kakuru and Ezekiel Muhanguzi delivered in August last year, the court ordered for permanent stay of all proceedings in all criminal cases brought against him in 2013 and 2014. Court also nullified 29, 30 and 59 of the trial on indictment articles 89, 90, and 91 of the magistrates courts act contrary to articles 28(9) of the constitution. He also got another win from the same court when it quashed his conviction on embezzlement and conspiracy to defraud government charges.
In his ruling Justice Stephen Musota said; “a person cannot be prosecuted for the same offenses for which he has previously been acquitted or convicted. Similarly, a person cannot be convicted twice on two different charges arising from the same conduct unless they are significantly different,”
Justice Musota then proceeded to grant all the declarations sought by Kazinda, ordering the Anti-Corruption Court to immediately discharge Kazinda on the charges contained in Criminal Case No. 105 of 2012 and Criminal Case No. 47 of 2013.
Justice Musota, however, noted that Kazinda would still have to battle charges of illicit wealth which were slapped on the former OPM official in 2016. Justices Cheborion Barishaki and Geoffery Kiryabwire also agreed with Justice Musota.
Upon judgement, he petitioned the Supreme Court noting that he was not satisfied with the lower court’s ruling.
The ruling panel of Supreme Court judges was led by Chief Justice Alfonso Owiny-Dollo. The other judges who presided over this ruling are; Justice Arach Amako, Apio Aweri, Faith Mwondha, Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza, Paul Mugamba and Percy Tuhaise.
“In the result, we accordingly grant the application as prayed and order that: (a) The execution of the majority judgment and orders of the Constitutional Court (Kiryabwire, Cheborion and Musota, JJA/JCC) dated 7th August 2020 in Constitutional Petition No. 30 of 2014 be and is hereby stayed pending the hearing and determination of the intended appeal by the applicant,” Supreme Court ruled on February 12.
“The applicant shall institute the intended appeal without delay. As this matter is of great public importance, each party shall bear its/ his costs of the application,” the rulings adds.