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Ugandan employment minister is charged with corruption

By Samuel Okiror KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- A Ugandan minister has been charged with corruption offenses for allegedly soliciting a bribe to clear a prominent businessman of sexual harassment accusations, a judiciary spokesperson said Wednesday.

Solomon Muyita, Uganda’s Judiciary senior communications officer, told Xinhua by telephone that Herbert Kabafunzaki, the state minister for labor, employment and industrial relations was on Tuesday charged with soliciting a bribe, receiving a bribe and conspiracy to commit a felony

The minister was charged before the anti-corruption court alongside his political assistant, who pleaded guilty to the three charges and another accomplice who pleaded not guilty.

“The minister was charged but pleaded not guilty. He was remanded to Luzira maximum prison,” Muyita said.

The minister was later on Wednesday released on bail.

The police on Saturday arrested Kabafunzaki for allegedly receiving a 5-million Ugandan shillings (about 1,400 U.S. dollars) as first payment of a larger bribe he had solicited from Mohammed Hamid to conceal a sexual harassment allegations case filed by a former female employee.

The minister is under intense pressure from the country’s parliament and activists to resign to pave way for proper investigation into the corruption allegations.

President Yoweri Museveni has expressed his commitment to tackle corruption, which activists have condemned as being widespread in society.



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