Labour Minister Hebert Kabafunzaki granted bail

Kabafunzaki granted bail
State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations Herbert Kabafunzaki has been granted bail. Courtesy Photo.

State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations Herbert Kabafunzaki has been granted bail. Kabafunzaki was given temporary reprieve by the anti-corruption court where he appeared this morning, a day after he was charged with corruption has and remanded to Luzira Prison.

He was directed to handover a deposit of 5 million Shillings, his diplomatic passport and Land tittle to the court as a condition for the bail. His three sureties were asked for a non cash bond of 50 million Shillings each. Thy included his wife Doreen Kabafunzaki, and colleagues Eliab Byamukama and Charles Mutabaazi.

Kabafunzaki, also the Rukiga County MP, was charged with two counts of corruption contrary to provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act and one count of conspiracy contrary to the Penal Code Act. He was charged alongside his personal assistant Brian Mugabo and an interior designer Bruce Lubowa before Chief Magistrate Agnes Alum of the Anti-Corruption Court.

Prosecution alleges that on April 8, while at Kampala Serena Hotel, Kabafunzaki directly solicited for a bribe of 15 million Shillings in exchange for clearing the image of Hamid Muhammed, the proprietor of AYA Group of Companies from allegations of sexual harassment lodged against him by his former employee at the Nakasero based Hilton Hotel. The employee had filed complaints with both police and with Kabafunzaki, in his capacity as the labour minister.

Labour Minister Hebert Kabafunzaki before court
Labour Minister Hebert Kabafunzaki (L) at the Anti-Corruption Court. Courtesy Photo.

Prosecution further alleges that Kabafunzaki directly accepted a deposit of 5 million Shillings from Hamid in exchange for the same. Prosecution further states that Kabafunzaki, conspired with his co-accused Bruce Lubowa, to solicit a gratification of 15 million Shillings a crime he committed between April 6-8, this year.

Two of the accused persons; Kabafunzaki and Lubowa denied the offence. However, Mugabo pleaded guilty and admitted to hiding a bribe of 5 million Shillings on behalf of the minister.  He says his action was to protect the minister from punishment.

Court heard that Lubowa conspired with the minister to solicit for the bribe and accepted to receive an installment of 5 million Shillings on Saturday; the day they were arrested.  But Kabafunzaki denied the allegations and told court that he did not receive any bribe and neither did he plan to meet Mohammad Hamid on the fateful day.