Former Minister Kabafunzaki convicted of corruption, barred from holding  public office for 10 years


The Anti -Corruption Court in Kampala has convicted former State Minister for Labour Herbert Kabafunzaki of corruption.

Kabafunzaki was in 2017 arrested together with two others at Kampala Serena Hotel for receiving a sh5 million bribe as partial payment for the sh15m they had solicited from AYA Investment boss, Mohammed Hamid.

On Friday, the Anti Corruption Court’s Justice Margaret Tibulya ruled that evidence brought to court including phone voice recordings and CCTV footage of the hotel linked the former minister to the crime.

“The above evidence squarely places the accused to the scene of the crime for purposes of committing the alleged offences, and corroborates that of Pw3(Serena hotel financial controller) that he handed over the shs5 million to the accused. In agreement with the gentlemen assessors I find that the accused directly received shs5 million as alleged in count two, “Justice Tibulya said.

The judge noted that evidence available clearly indicates that the money was for Kabafunzaki and his accused for among others purpose of clearing the businessman’s name .

“Mohammed Mohammed Hamid’s evidence that the accused and his agents informed him that the money was the cost for clearing his name of sexual harassment allegations was not disputed. It is common knowledge that one of the accused's roles as Minister in charge of labor was to ensure that there were harmonious labour relations in the country. That he solicited for and received money in order for him to clear Pw3's name can only mean that the money was in exchange for an act in the performance of his public functions, and I so find.”

“In conclusion and in agreement with the gentlemen assessors I find that the prosecution has adduced sufficient evidence to support the charges in each count. I convict the accused of corruption as charged in each count.”

Tough punishment

The judge said that since Kabafunzaki jumped bail, it means he has no respect for the criminal justice system and consequently needs to get a befitting punishment for his behaviour.

“He was clearly a mistake in the exalted office of Minister and in public life. That he could solicit and receive gratification in the manner he did only shows that he was erroneously placed in the offices of Member of parliament and minister. The embarrassment he caused to the appointing authority can never be atoned for in any way.”

The judge consequently sentenced the minister to a shs5 million fine or to serve three years imprisonment on the first count of corruption and the same punishment for the second count of corruption.

Justice Tibulya said that if Kabafunzaki chooses to pay the fine, the sentence would be consecutive to mean he pays shs10 million in total  but the sentences would be concurrent id he chose to go to prison.

“It is ordered (Section 46 of the Anti-Corruption Act) that he is barred from holding a public office for a period of l0 years from today,” Justice Margaret Tibulya ruled.

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