President Yoweri Museveni has declared an open war on corruption and vowed to have all those implicated in corruption scandals will be exposed and dealt with according to the law.
He has warned that the arrest of his Minister of State for Labour, Herbert Kabafunzaki is just a taste of what is to come.
Museveni has also called upon the general public to help in reporting all corruption cases so that the culprits are easily arrested and prosecuted.
The tough talking Museveni has defended government’s slow response to previous corruption cases saying the vice has become complex with educated people in public offices making it almost impossible to pin them without evidence.
He made the remarks while addressing journalists from the ten districts of Busoga as he wrapped up his three-day community mobilization tour of Mayuge.
In affirmation to his resolve to fight corruption, he also suspended Herbert Kabafunzaki, the embattled Labor State Minister until he is cleared of the corruption allegations against him.
“Following the recent allegations of your involvement in corrupt practices, I have with immediate effect suspended you from performing duties as Minister of State for Labor until court has determined the matter,” reads Museveni’s April 13th letter to Kabafunzaki.
He directs Kabafunzaki to hand over office to the substantive Minister. Kabafunzaki’s trouble stems from his arrest from Serena Hotel in Kampala on Saturday last week where he had allegedly gone to pick a bribe from Hamid Muhammad, the proprietor of AYA Group of Companies.
It is alleged that Kabafunzaki solicited a bribe of Shillings 30 million from Muhammad, who also owns Hilton Hotel to help clear him of sexual assault charges brought against him by one of his former employees.
On Tuesday, Kabafunzaki appeared before Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Agnes Alum alongside his personal assistant Brian Mugabo and an interior designer Bruce Lubowa. They were charged with three counts of corruption and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Kabafunzaki and Lubowa pleaded not guilty to the charges. 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. 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.
“I didn’t plan to meet anyone from AYA, I was having lunch with my daughter at Serena Hotel. It was a set up,” Kabafunzaki says. Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Agnes Alum remanded the trio Luzira Prison, but granted the minister bail the next day.