KABALE – The embattled Rukiga County Member of Parliament, Herbert Kabafunzaki has said that despite his embarrassing arrest in April last year he shall remain a committed member of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Kabafunzaki was reacting to some of his constituents who protested in April this year against his arrest and continous court appearances that they said had affected service delivery in their county.
Protesters alleged that the NRM government had not respected their choice to support it by sending a party representative on a seat that had for long been dominated by the opposition. These threatened to quit the party and join the opposition unless Kabafunzaki is relieved of these allegations.
Kabafunzaki who doubles as the State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations was arrested in April last year together with Brian Mugabo, a clearing agent.
Kabafunzaki was arrested at Serena Hotel as he allegedly picked a Shs 5 million bribe as partial payment for Shs 10 million he had reportedly solicited from businessman, Mohammed Hamid of Aya Group.
Hamid alleged that the Minister asked for a sum of Shs 10 million to clear Aya Group’s name in the allegations of sexual harassment of the group’s employees which one of the Aya bosses was facing at the time.
Addressing a press conference at Cephas Inn, Kabale yesterday evening, Kabafunzaki said that his arrest was geared by his enemies not NRM as a party and thus he cannot blame it for the unfortunate incident.
“Like the president has always referred to them as weevils, my arrest was as a result of such weevils. I am glad some of them have already been arrested and therefore justice is on its course,” said Kabafunzaki.
He said that since his arrest, the ability to deliver services as expected in Rukiga has greatly been affected since he spends a lot of time preparing for court appearances and meeting his lawyers.
Kabafunzaki is however confident that he will overcome the case since he claims not to have solicited for the bribe as accused by the prosecutors.
“My arrest was unfair because I realised that the arresting authority is at the same time the investigating authority and also the prosecuting authority. This is evident enough that these people are trying to tarnish my name but I can assure you that at the end of the day I will sail through successfully,” he added.
Kabafunzaki also expressed dissatisfaction over a tendency by some politicians to claim government programs as if they are part of their achievements.
“Government has a mandate to ensure the welfare of its citizens and through some of its infrastructural programs it is fulfills this obligation yet some politicians keep claiming them as if they are the ones who made it possible single handed,” stressed Kabafunzaki.