Police arrested the State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations for allegedly soliciting a Shillings 30 million bribe yesterday at Sheraton hotel in Kampala.
Kabafunzaki, 41, is the elected Member of Parliament representing Rukiga county, in Kabale District in the 10th parliament and a member of Uganda’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement.
He holds a bachelor’s Degree of Ethics and Development Studies from Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, a Masters in Business Administration from Makerere University and a Diploma in Law from Law Development Centre Kampala.
Kabafunzaki entered private business immediately after graduating from university, working as a Clearing and Forwarding agent before entering politics where in 2011 he was elected Local Councillor 5 (LC5) representing Makindye Ssaabagabo sub-county (Wakiso) before it became a municipality.
Upon his appointment, Kabafunzaki vowed to crack down on investors that don’t respect workers’ rights. He has since then carried out a number of surprise inspection visits to various companies mostly owned by foreign investors including Tian Tang steel company in Mukono and Tembo Steel Mills among others.
He had, before today’s dramatic turn of events, also taken on Chairman and Managing Director of Aya Group of Companies, Mohammed Hamid over sex allegations.
Following his arrest yesterday, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson said he was not in position to immediately say anything about investigations into sexual abuse accusations pending against the city tycoon who is at the heart of an alleged bribery scandal which saw.
Emilian Kayima said that he would only be able to say anything by Monday.
It’s alleged that Mohammed Hamid, the boss at Aya Group, the proprietors of the Hilton Hotel in Kampala has been a victim of sexual harassment.
One of his former employees alleges that he sexually harassed and molested her before she was summarily sacked last year, prompting her to take up the matter with the police.
On Thursday April 6, 2017, Kabafunzaki led team of officials from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to the Nakasero based Pearl of Africa Hotel Kampala (Kampala Hilton Hotel), which is under construction by Aya Investments, a subsidiary of the group, to look into sexual harassment allegations by a former female worker and to carry out an inspection of the working environment.
However, in an engagement between the minister and the hotel management, Hamid denied the allegations saying the said girl is working with a one Mugabo to tarnish his name.
Hamid said the woman in question working with Mugabo wanted to extort money from him failure for which he would be blackmailed.
“That woman was suspended for misconduct and she hatched a plan with Brian to tarnish my name. Brain called my colleague demanding for $10,000 which they would share. She said that was the only way we can solve this problem. I even informed the office of the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (CIID) about the matter,” said Hamid.
Consequently Kabafunzaki asked the management of Hilton Hotel, Kampala to present its workers’ documentation following complaints that many of them do not have employment contracts on top of sexual abuse allegations by a woman who had stated this has been going on since 2015.
It’s from this background that Kabafunzaki is accused of allegedly asking for, and receiving, the Shs30 million as payment for him to scuttle the sexual harassment case against the businessman.
The Member of Parliament for Rukiga County in Kabale District, was arrested from Sheraton Hotel in Kampala where he had gone to pick the money.
Kabafunzaki was arrested together with Mr. Brian Mugabo, a clearing agent, for allegedly soliciting a bribe from the proprietor of AYA Group.
Kabafunzaki had recently been in the media for intervening on behalf of an unnamed lady who had accused the AYA boss, Hamid Latif, of sexual harassment.
A team of detectives from the Kampala Metropolitan Police Criminal Investigations Unit, following intelligence information, caught the minister red-handed receiving the bribe.
Preliminary investigations reveal that Minister Kabafunzaki was soliciting the bribe from Hamid Muhammed, the proprietor of AYA Group of Companies who owns Hilton Hotel in Nakasero.
According to the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima, the minister was arrested together with a clearing agent identified as Brian Mugabo.
“I can confirm that the Minister was arrested together with a a clearing agent as they were soliciting for a bribe,” Kayima told this publication.