Mohammed Hamid, the AYA Group chief executive officer has today helped the Anti-corruption Court to go through both visual and audio recordings which show Hebert Kabafunzaki, the interdicted state minister for Labour soliciting for a bribe.
Last year, the Rukiga county legislator was nabbed by security operatives from police and Special Forces Command (SFC) at 3:30pm at Serena’s Explorer bar after Muhammad handed him Shs5 million.
With Shs 50,000 notes strewn all over the table in front of him, Kabafunzaki, sat ashen-faced, unsure of what to do, as detectives gathered evidence to build a bribery case against him. It didn’t help matters for the clearly shaken minister that a group of journalists flashing television and still-photo cameras were mobbing him at the Serena Kampala hotel.
On April 13, 2017, Kabafunzaki together with his aide Brain Mugabo and one Bruce Lubowa were arraigned before the Anti- Corruption court and charged with receiving a bribe worth Shs 5million.
So today, Hamid who was being led by Senior State Attorney Barbra Tibulya first went through the visual recording showing what transpired at Serena Hotel, last year in April. The visual recording initially showed Hamid meeting with Mugabo who introduced himself as political assistant of Kabafunzaki.
They immediately exchanged greetings and talked about the Shs5 million. Mugabo then took Hamid to the area where he is supposed to meet the minister who was yet to arrive.
Later the visual recording which had no audio version shows the minister arriving but he doesn’t seat together with Hamid. The ministers preferred form of communication, according to this recording, was through writing chits which were transported by Mugabo.
So in his testimony, Hamid said before anything else the minster ordered that all the phones for either party are put aside which perhaps was a bid to avoid being recorded. With the phones away, the minister according to Hamid, proceeded to ask of Shs5 million which Aya propriety duly dished out.
That after that, Hamid said he departed the room but on his way out he was told by security that police was carrying out an operation in which they were arresting a minster for soliciting bribes.
With the visual recording out of the way, separately, Hamid went through the audio recording which showed events that happened day before the events at Serena hotel.
In the audio recording which was played out in court, a conversation between Hamid and Kabafunzaki is loudly heard. After greetings, Kabafunzaki tells the Hamid that he wants to clear him of the sexual harassment allegations because they might haunt their Pearl of Africa Hotel which is soon to be opened.
Kabafunzaki is heard proposing that what on Monday he was going to do was to first summon “the girl” who was accusing Hamid of sexual harassment and the objective of the meeting is to tell her that she had no case. On that on Tuesday, he said, they would call hold a joint press- conference.
As Hamid was proceeding with his testimony, defence lawyers told Justice Tibulya how they couldn’t proceed since Lubowa was ill. Indeed throughout Hamid’s testimony, Lubowa had either been dozing or dead asleep.
Justice Tibulya after consultations with both defense and prosecution lawyers adjourned the case to March 21, 2018.
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