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Alleged Covid test tamperer fights for bail

2021-06-18  Roland Routh

Alleged Covid test tamperer fights for bail
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The State has amended the charges faced by an employee of the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP), who allegedly falsely pretended that Covid-19 samples were genuinely tested and resulted in negative outcomes. 

Public prosecutor Sylvia Kauluma informed Windhoek magistrate Linus Samunzala when the bail application of Uuika Nuunyango (34) commenced that corruptly using an office or position for gratification or benefit, and forgery and uttering were the charges added to the original two charges of fraud and using false documents by an agent.

Her lawyer, Nambili Mhata, however, objected to the third charge, saying it is vague. Mhata submitted that the State cannot just imply that someone used their position or office for gratification without specifying the benefit derived. 

Samunzala agreed with Mhata, and the State undertook to again amend the charge to read “an unknown benefit.”

It is alleged by the State that the accused wrongfully, unlawfully, falsely and with the intent to defraud gave out and pretended to the NIP and the State that 53 Covid-19 samples were genuinely tested, and the results were negative. By means of these false pretences, she thus induced NIP and the State to the actual loss of N$54 230. 

In her testimony during the bail application, Nuunyango denied that she committed any of the offences proffered against her. She further indicated that she would abide by any conditions the court may set, and will attend her hearings religiously.

The accused told the court that she adopted and is solely responsible for a seven-year-old orphaned girl. The child is now living with her sister, who is unemployed, and has two of her own children to look after. 

Nuunyango also informed the court that the situation at the Klein Windhoek police station where she is detained is very bad as they are eight in a tiny cell, and with no sanitisers available. It is very unhealthy, as they are sleeping on the floor on mats without blankets. She also said the conditions in the holding cells are such that it is virtually impossible to consult with her lawyer. 

Nuunyango further informed Samunzala that she wants to be released on bail to look after her daughter, and to continue with her small business to earn money to fulfil her financial obligations.

According to her, she is renting a flat and has a car, and assists her parents and siblings financially. 

“I am in essence the breadwinner of my family,” she said.

Kauluma will cross-examine Nuuyango on Tuesday next week after Samunzala granted her a postponement, despite strong objections from Mhata.

She remains in custody at the Klein Windhoek police station.

- rrouth@nepc.com.na


2021-06-18  Roland Routh

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