State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations Herbert Kafunzaki appeared before the Anti-Corruption court in Kampala this Tuesday afternoon and denied charges of soliciting a bribe from businessman Muhammad Hamid, claiming he was set up his enemies in FDC.
Kabafunzaki was arrested while taking a Shs5m bribe, part of the Shs15m he had allegedly solicited for at Kampala Serena Hotel on Saturday and detained at Nalufenya Police Station in Jinja.
Apparently, he solicited the bribe to help clear the name of Mohammed Aya who is embroiled in allegations of having sexually assaulted a former employee.
Kafunzaki who was allowed to address the press shortly after he had been remanded to Luzira prison said he was having dinner with his daughter at Kampala Serena when he was framed in what looked like a “well-rehearsed” plot.
Kabafunzaki said the Ayas who were used by his FDC enemies contacted him, claiming they were going to give him information about the sexual harassment he was investigating.
“I am very innocent. He (Hamid) didn’t even call me. They used my agent Brian (Mugabo) who came and told me about the meeting. When I went there, 10 people surrounded me and ordered me to sit. I tried to fight but they overpowered me,” he narrated.
Kabafunzaki says it took another hour for the people who were framing him to bring the money that he appeared with in the now viral social media photos and forced him to sign for it, but he refused.
“The president is aware I am innocent and I thank him for that,” Kabafunzaki said.
Kabafunzaki had pled innocent to the charges though his aide Mugabo who was found in possession of the Shs5m pleaded guilty to the same offence.
Mugabo confessed when caught that he was trying to disappear with the Shs5m bribe to kill the evidence.
“He was paid off,” the minister explained their differing pleas.
The minister also claimed that at Nalufenya where he was detained, he met a group of criminals who confessed to him that they had been trailing him to kill him, adding that they are ready to testify.
Kabafunzaki beat FDC’s Jack Sabiiti in last year’s Rukiga County Parliamentary elections.
Kabafunzaki will appear before court this Wednesday to hear the ruling for his bail application.