Court sets date for Hearing of Kabafunzanki trial

By Sania Babirye

High court judge Margret Tibulya has been assigned to hear the corruption case against  State Minister for labor  Herbert Kabafunzaki and two others.

These are charged with two counts of  conspiring to solicit for a 15 million bribe from the Proprietor of Aya group of companies Mohammad Hamid.

On the 28th of June Anti corruption court chief magistrate Agnes Alum committed Kabafuzanki  alongside his political aid Mugabo Brian and a relative Lubowa Bruce for trial in the high court.

This is after state prosecutor Barbara Kawuma informed court that the DPP had opted  for the the three to be tried by a judge saying a judge was in better position to try the case due  due to the circumustances of how  the  case was commited and the people involved it.

Anti corruption court Deputy Registrar Susan Kanyange has set the 18th of July as the date when hearing of the case will commence and ordered Kabafunzaki
together and his co accused  to appear in court for trial

Prosecution states  that between the 6th and the 8th April 20217 at Serena Hotel in Kampala district,  Kabafunzaki directly solicited and accepted  a 5 million shillings Bribe from an Indian Investor Muhammed Muhammed Hamid,  the chairman Aya group of companies as an inducument to clear him of sexual harrasment allegations levied against him by his former employee.

Some of the evidence that the DPP intends to adduce before court include a CCTV footage from Serena hotel that shows the interaction where the minister received  the alleged five million bribe in a khaki brown envelope from the Aya  boss and later giving it to his political assistant for counting who  later hid the money behind the curtains when police came to arrest them.

Anti corruption Court convicts Kazinda and three others

By Babirye Sania

Anti corruption Judge Lawrence  Gidudu has convicted the   former Principle Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister, Geoffrey Kazinda and 3 others of  fraud and causing  government a 316 billion loss  in fueling  non existence vehicles under  the  office  of the  prime minister in 2010.

Kazinda has been found guilty  alongside the service stations manager Total Ntinda Katumwa Hussein, Beatrice Kezabu the former  clerk  in the OPM office  and Shamim Madembe who owns the  petrol  station.

These were facing  5counts including Conspiracy to defraud, Embezzlement, fraudulent false accounting, forgery and uttering false documents.

Justice Gidudu found Beatrice Kezabu guilty  of forgery and false accounting together with her co accused.

The judge has however expressed dismay to why  commissioner Martin Owol who was Kezabu’s boss despite admitting of having erred was never charged  but instead brought in as a prosecution  witnesses.

According to Prosecution the money in question was meant to buy 5,000 liters of fuel for vehicles transporting relief food to disaster victims, in various districts, in  2010 but that Kazinda and Kezaabu allegedly made false entries claiming that Total Ntinda Service Station had supplied fuel to the Prime Minister’s Office whereas not.

In June/2013 Kazinda was first convicted by the same court of forging then Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana’s signature and sentenced to 5years which he completed in November 2016 but is still in Luzira prison because of these pending cases.

Anti corruption court to give verdict on Kazinda’s case

By Sania Babirye

Anti corruption Judge Lawrence  Gidudu is today expected deliver his judgement  where   former Principle Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minister, Geoffrey Kazinda and 3 others are charged with fraud and causing  government a 316 billion loss  in fueling  non existence vehicles under  the  office  of the  prime minister in 2010.

Kazinda is charged alongside the service stations manager Caltex Ntinda Katumwa Hussein, Beatrice Kezabu the former  clerk  in the OPM office  and Shamim Madembe who owns the  petrol  station.

These are charged with  5counts including Conspiracy to defraud, Embezzlement, fraudulent false accounting, forgery and uttering false documents.

According to Prosecution the money in question was meant to buy 5,000 liters of fuel for vehicles transporting relief food to disaster victims, in various districts, in  2010 but that Kazinda and Kezaabu allegedly made false entries claiming that Caltex Ntinda Service Station had supplied fuel to the Prime Minister’s Office whereas not.

In June/2013 Kazinda was first convicted by the same court of forging then Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana’s signature and sentenced to 5years which he completed in November 2016 but is still in Luzira prison because of these pending cases.

Even if Kazinda is set free on this case he will still remain I’m Luzira prison because he still has another case pending trial were he is  jointly charged with officials from the Ministry of finance  for allegedly misappropriating 21billion shillings worth PRDP funds meant to rehabilitate the war torn Northern Uganda.

Last month a court assessor asked court to acquit Kazinda and the service  stations  manger  Caltex Ntinda Katumwa Hussein, saying they are  not guilty of the offenses in which government lost 316 billion shillings in fueling non existence vehicles under the office of the prime minister.

Okech Vicent Ferrer told court that prosecution had failed to adduce evidence to prove that Kazinda did approve the payment of the forged fuel vouchers, which money he would later receive from Caltex Ntinda Service Station Manager Katumwa Hussein.

The assessor  said that all alleged evidence that prosecution brought in court was just here say since prosecution also failed to bring any witness to pin Katumwa over the charges.

However the assessor advised court to instead convict the other two accused including Beatrice Kezaabu a Clerk in OPM on grounds that she was responsible for filling fuel orders of non existent motor vehicles in which government lost  316million shillings.

The other person is the owner of the said Petrol Station Shamim Masembe who denied ever sending Money to Kazinda through her manager Katumwa when she was cross examined.

Court sets 28th June for hearing of Kabafunzaki’s case

By Sania Babirye

Anti corruption court has set the 28th of June to commence hearing a case in which  State Minister for labor  Herbert Kabafunzaki and two others are charged with corruption.

This is after state prosecutor  Maxim Elizooba informed chief magistrate Agnes Alumu  that investigations into the case are complete.

The magistrate   has now ordered  prosecution to avail Kabafunzaki’s lawyers led by David Balondemu all the evidence it intends to rely on before trial starts.

Hon.Kabafuzanki is charged alongside his political aid Mugabo Brian and a one Lubowa Bruce.

They are charged with with two counts of conspiring to solicit for a 15 million bribe from the Proprietor of Aya group of companies Mohammad Hamid.

Prosecution states  that between the 6th and the 8th April 20217 at Serena Hotel in Kampala district,  Kabafunzaki directly solicited and accepted  a 5 million shillings Bribe from an Indian Investor Muhammed Muhammed Hamid,  the chairman Aya group of companies as an inducement to clear him of sexual harassment allegations levied against him by his former employee.

Mao blames high sugar prices on corrupt government officials

By Robert Segawa
Democratic Party president Norbert Mao has accused the government of being behind the ongoing country wide hiked sugar prices. He says government officials are keeping sugar in their stores.
In a weekly press conference at the party headquarters in Kampala Mao has tasked  trade  Minister Amelia Kyambande to lead the opening of the sugar store campaigns as a short term solution. He adds that a  massive tax reform should be carried out to avoid recurrence of the shortage.
Mao observes that not only sugar prices have been hiked but also prices of other essential commodities like matooke, fuel, maize flour, and drugs which he  blames on high taxes imposed by the regime corrupt officials
It will be recalled that the minister last week announced the government’s directive to sugar manufacturers not to sell sugar beyond five thousand Ugandan shillings country wide.

Kabafunzaki in fresh trouble over detained Korean investor

By Robert Segawa
Following his arrest for receiving bribe worth Shs 5 million cash from Muhammed Hamid of Aya group, state minister for labor Hon Herbert Kabafunzaki is in trouble again.
The south Korean embassy has written to the permanent secretary ministry of foreign affairs seeking for investigations into the conduct of Kabafunzaki.
According to a letter dated April 24, the Kabafunzaki reportedly arrested an investor identified as WOO Junghoon  who had refused to give him a US Dollar  5000 bribe and detained him at CPS in Kampala for 5 hours.
It is said that Kabafunzaki ordered police officers not to release the investor not until the said bribe had been paid.It is said that it took the intervention of the South Korean embassy together with lawyers to ensure that the investor is released.
 The embassy in their letter copied to the IGP say the behavior of the junior  minister was wanting and should be investigated.

Court grants minister Kabafunzaki bail

By Sania Babirye

Anti corruption court chief magistrate Agnes Alum has granted a five million cash bail to state Minister for Labour , Employment and Industrial relations Herbert Kabanfunzaki.

The  state minister has also been ordered to deposit his passport and two land titles that he owns with his wife  in court until the case is dispossed.

The chief magistrate ruled that the minister had no criminal charges pending  against him and that his surities were substantial.

The state had asked court to deny Hon.Kabafunzaki bail on grounds that he is likely to abscond once released and due to his status as an MP and state minister he might use it to interfere with witnesses.

However the magistrate dismissed  their application saying court can not deny him bail on mere speculation.

On Tuesday, the minister pleaded not guilty to corruption and bribery charges slapped against him by state.
Through his lawyer Kenneth Muhangi Hon.Kabafuzaki sought bail on grounds of bail being his constitutional right to apply for bail, has a fixed place of aboard in Kanyanya cell and that he will not interfere with state witnesses.
The state minister also informed court that he was  the soul bread winner of his family including his four children who are all below the age of 18, he is a law abiding citizen who will not abscond once released and has substantial sureties.
The minister presented five sureties including his wife Doreen KABAFUNZAKI, his brother Charles Mutabazi and his friend Dr.Eryabu Byamukama a lecturer at Kampala international university.

Kabafunzaki was charged on Tuesday  with his political aid  Brain Mugabo who pleaded guilty to have hid the 5 million the minister received from Mohammed Hamid and an interior designer Bruce Lubowa who also pleaded not guilty to the charges of  conspiring  to solicit a 15 million shillings Bribe.

Prosecution states  that between the 6th and the 8th April 20217 at Serena Hotel in Kampala district,  Kabafunzaki directly solicited and accepted  a 5 million shillings Bribe from an Indian Investor Muhammed Muhammed Hamid,  the chairman Aya group of companies as an inducument to clear him of sexual harrasment allegations levied against him by his former employee.

Mugabo was separately charged with being an accessory after being convicted on his own plea for a linear punishment.

The minister was arrested on Saturday last week at Serena Hotel where he allegedly corned by State house operatives receiving the said bribe.

Nakawa grade two magistrate charged with corruption

A grade two magistrate attached to Nakawa chief magistrate court Agnes Napiyo has been charged with abuse of office and corruption at the anti corruption  court
Napiyo appeared before grade one magistrate Amoko Payricia and pleaded not guilty to the two counts.
Prosecution led by  Micah  Luteete states   that between 2nd of March 2017 and 8th of April 2017 at Nakawa chief Magistrates court,  magistrate Napiyo corruptly solicited for  one million  shillings from a one Vincent Amam Egesa as an inducument to reverse a child custody ruling in his favor.
State further states that Napiyo went a head to  abuse her authority of  office and did an arbitrary act of receiving  700,000 shillings from the said Egesa.
She  has however been granted a 500000 cash bail.
The case has been adjourned to the 27th of April 2017 for mention of the case.
-URN

Minister Kabafunzaki denies corruption charges

By Babirye Sania
Brian Mugabo, a  political assistant to the state minister of Labour and Employment Herbert Kabafunzaki has pleaded guilty to hiding  the 5 million shillings Bribe that the state minister for labor had received from the proprietor of Aya group of companies Mohammad Hamid.
The bribe was allegedly received by the  Hon. State minister at Serena hotel in Kampala on the 8th of this April 2017.
While appearing before anti corruption chief magistrate Agnes Alumu the 21 year old  accepted  the envelope which contained the  said money behind the curtains of the hotel  from  police  detectives who had come to arrest minister Kabafunzaki.
Evidence read to court by state prosecutor Barbra Kauma indicate that Mugabo did all this to enable the minister escape punishment and that the said money was retrieved by  footage viewed by the detectives from the CCTV camera.
Mugabo was charged with being an accomplice.
Meanwhile minister Kabafunzaki has denied the corruption charges against him and court is currently hearing  his bail application presented by his lawyer Kenneth Muhangi.

Osege set to investigate corrupt top government officials

By Wasswa Deo
The chairperson of public accounts committee in parliament , Angelina Osege says they will not stop to investigate top government officials who are culprits of corruption.
Osege who was speaking during the anti corruption campaign in Katakwi district organised by Action Aid Uganda and democratic governance facility noted that despite doing risky job, She is not intimidated and doesn’t need bodyguards.
She also warns local government officials especially chief administrative officers who she says connive with some officials in the ministry of finance. She adds that that they work together to complicate the process of  accessing  funds which they end up sharing.
Osege added that local council leaders also have tendency of diverting funds to other projects where they’re promised a tip.
Philip Kabuye, the team leader of the anti corruption campaign says they have decided to involve masses especially in local communities because they are the most vulnerable when it comes to corruption.