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.

Buganda anti corruption coalition blames IGG for unattended corruption cases

The Inspectorate of Government is under the spotlight for alleged failure to act on five corruption cases reported by South Buganda Anti-Corruption Coalition.

In 2015, South Buganda Anti-corruption Coalition, which operates in Greater Masaka region, submitted five petitions from Masaka district of alleged corruption to the regional office of the Inspectorate of Government.

The petitions include a report pinning Joseph Kimbowa, the former Masaka Town Clerk for allegedly selling off a plot of land in the newly constructed Nyendo market to Issa Lubega, a businessman based in Nyendo without council approval.  He reportedly forged council minutes to back the transaction and pocketed Shillings 28 million from the businessman.

The minutes were disowned by the council led by the Former Speaker Masaka Municipality, Steven Lukyamuzi. The council asked the IGG to investigate Kimbowa for forgery and abuse of office. Kimbowa declined to comment on the matter.

Other cases include the disputed allocation of part of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) land, which hosts the Masaka water treatment center  to local businessman Gerald Kasozi by Masaka District Land Board.

The other petition is about the allocation of the Mayor’s chambers to Brig. Silver Kayemba at the cost of Shillings 800 million without council approval.Charles Kasibante Kibabilire, the Deputy Executive Director of South Buganda anti-Corruption Coalition, says they expected the Inspectorate of Government to expedite investigations in the cases and take action, but nothing has been done.

Kasibante says they are considering dragging the implicated officers to court, since the Inspectorate of Government has failed to consider their reports and take action. Denis Lukanga Majwala, the LC III Chairperson Katwe-Butego Division, says they haven’t felt the impact of the office of the IGG in Masaka district.

According to Majwala, there are several corruption allegations in Masaka municipality, but the Inspectorate hasn’t picked them up. He cites the illegal allocation of the street parking business without a formal contract.

However, officials from the Inspectorate of Government in Masaka, say they are doing their best. One of the officials told URN on condition of anonymity, since he isn’t authorized to speak to the media, that some of the files were allocated to an official who is on maternity leave.

The officer declined to divulge further details and instead referred URN to the spokesperson of the Inspectorate of Government, Munira Ali. Our calls to Munira went without response by the time of filing this story.

 

 

-URNI

Pader town mayor cautions public servants to take care of office property

By Wasswa Deo

The Pader Town council Mayor Wodacholi Llama has expressed disappointment in government officials who do not take good care office property and materials.

Llama who has been walking to his office for the last nine months says the official motor bike was destroyed beyond repair by former mayor Omona Lapit.

This is among the many cases that have been  documented by Action aid, democratic governance facility and office of IGG for further investigations in regard to the misuse of government property.

Wodacholi says sometimes he has to request friends for lifts in order to be at work early.

The mayor has also gone for three months without salary and that he only survives by the top up for the mayor of less than 150,000/= per months and he was told by district chief administrative officer that there was an error that led to his name being scrapped off the pay list.

Christine Iga, a senior inspector says the office of IGG needs more support from communities in ending corruption to ensure that the entire country realizes better service delivery.

ICC extends Congolese Bemba’s time in prison over false evidence

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has sentenced the former Congolese Vice-President, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, to another year in prison and about USD 325,000 (1.2 billion Shillings) in fines for interfering with his trial.

Judges ordered the that the sentence be served consecutively to Bemba’s existing 18 year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic between October 2002 and March 2003. In their ruling, the judges ordered the fine to be paid within three months to the ICC and then transferred to the Trust Fund for Victims.

Bemba, along with four other people, was found guilty for intentionally and corruptly influencing 14 defence witnesses, and presenting their false evidence to the court.”  Bemba was also found guilty of soliciting the giving of false testimony by the 14 defence witnesses and attempting to corruptly influence two defence witnesses.

These charges were in addition to the main ruling issued in March 2016, in which the ICC found Bemba guilty beyond reasonable doubt of a devastating campaign of rape, murder and torture in the Central African Republic.

The alleged acts took place between October 2002 and March 2003 when Bemba’s rebels operating as the ‘Mouvement de Libération du Congo’ (the Movement for the Liberation of Congo) helped to put down a coup against Ange-Felix Patasse, the former president of the Central African Republic.

It was the first time the court applied the principle of command or superior responsibility to convict someone, who was far from the battleground while his militia committed its crimes. Bemba was a person effectively acting as a military commander with effective authority and control over the forces that committed the crimes.

Court heard that Bemba’s men were involved in the gang rape of women and girls as young as 10, forced sons to rape their mothers in front of their fathers, raped wives in front of their husbands, and children in front of their parents. The judges found that he was culpable for having “failed to prevent” the crimes committed by his subordinates, and for doing nothing to punish the offenses.

Bemba is already serving 16 years for murder as a war crime, 16 years for murder as a crime against humanity, 18 years for rape as a war crime, 18 years of imprisonment for rape as a crime against humanity and 16 years for pillaging as a war crime.