Embattled Ex-Minister Kabafunzaki Convicted for Bribery

By APN Reporter

The Anti-corruption court presided over Justice Margret Tibulya, has convicted former junior minister for Labour, Herbert Kabafunzaki on corruption charges and asked him to pay a fine of 10 million shillings, failure of which he has to serve three years in prison.

She delivered the verdict on Friday after finding the former minister guilty of soliciting a bribe of 5 million shillings about four years ago.   In her judgement, Justice Tibulya noted that the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  Earlier on, the prosecution told the court that on April 6th and 8th 2017, Kabafunzaki directly solicited and accepted a bribe of Shillings 5million from Hamid Muhammed, the Chairperson of Aya Group of Companies as an inducement to clear him of sexual abuse his former employee Jamila Opondo.

The complainant had made the allegations both before the police and Kabafunzaki in his capacity as Labor state minister. Police arrested Kabafunzaki redhanded with the money together with his former Political Assistant, Brian Mugabo and an Interior Designer, Bruce Lubowa at Serena Hotel. 

During the trial, the Prosecution tabled evidence from several witnesses including recordings showing how Kabafunzaki got the money and handed it to Mugabo to count it and tried to hide it behind the hotel curtains when police stormed to arrest them. Mugabo later tested as a state against Kabafunzaki, which promoted the Directorate of Prosecution to drop the charges against him and Lubowa.

In her judgement delivered in-camera, Justice Tibulya ordered Kabafunzaki to pay a fine of Shillings of 10 million or serve a three-year jail term. The State Attorney, Josephine Namatovu, who attended the proceedings told journalists that the court convicted the former minister on both offences and handed him a fine of Shillings 5 million for each offence.

The court has also barred Kabafunzaki from holding any public office for ten years and ordered him to forfeit the 5 million shillings he paid for his bill for absconding from the court proceedings. The judge issued a warrant of arrest directing security agencies to arrest him on-site and produce him in the court to comply with the respective orders and sentence.    

During the course of the trial, Kabafunzaki reportedly went missing. The presiding judge pushed his wife, Ms Doreen Kabafunzaki, to produce him in court, saying she did not believe that she did not know the whereabouts of her husband.