Fraud accused Manga Nawa- Mukena and her husband Joseph Mukena have enlisted the services of a new lawyer to defend their case currently before Windhoek High Court Judge Herman January. Introducing himself to the judge, Kadhila Amoomo said he will take over from the previous legal representatives of the Mukenas. He further informed the judge that financial difficulties forced the couple to make the difficult decision – and it was not because they were dissatisfied with their previous lawyer Slysken Makando, instructed by Kalundu Kamwi.
The lawyer further informed the court that his firm and the Mukenas have come to an agreement regarding the issue of legal fees. He further asked the court for a postponement to allow him to get up to speed with the matter and indicated he will only be available in March and April next year.
However, after looking at his calendar, the judge indicated that the earliest he will be available is in May next year and, therefore, postponed the matter to 9 May to run until 20 May. The Mukenas and their longtime friend Celestino Gabriel Antonio pleaded not guilty on several charges of fraud alternatively theft, forgery and uttering a forged document, money laundering and obstructing or defeating the course of justice at the start of their trial earlier this year.
Nawa-Mukena faces 85 counts of fraud, she and her husband 85 counts on the alternative of theft, Nawa-Mukena alone 84 counts of forgery and uttering a forged document, all three accused a second count of forgery and uttering a forged document, the Mukenas one count of contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, all three one count of money laundering, all three accused one count of obstructing or defeating the course of justice or attempting to do so, while Manga alone faces one count of contravening the Value Added Tax Act.
The prosecution says all charges emanate from the falsification of 80 invoices worth N$2 088 071 for advertising services. According to court documents, between 1 April 2013 and 17 March 2017, Mukena and her co-accused allegedly defrauded MultiChoice Namibia. The documents further state that over a period of three years, the trio falsified 85 invoices and enticed the television company to pay for advertising services that were never rendered.
Mbanga Siyomunji, who represents Antonio, said his client put the State to prove every allegation and that he retains his right to remain silent. The State is represented by Timo Iitula. Nawa-Mukena and Antonio are free on bail while Mukena is free on a warning. - firstname.lastname@example.org