WINDHOEK – The state is seeking for a conviction against education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, arguing that her contention that there is a conspiracy to implicate and convict her were a figment of her imagination.
Hanse-Himarwa is currently standing trial in Windhoek High Court on a charge of corruptly using her former office as Hardap governor to obtain a gratification for herself or someone else.
Hanse-Himarwa, now 51, is alleged to have had changes made to a list of Mariental mass housing project beneficiaries in December 2014, by replacing opposition supporters with her own relatives.
During oral submission before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg, deputy prosecutor general Ed Marondedze submitted that Hanse-Himarwa’s testimony throughout the entire trial process was clouded with lies.
“As a senior government official, she could have gone to the bottom of the matter in order to find out how the list was changed if it had not been done at her behest,” Marondedze submitted.
He further stated that the minister’s actions, together with the testimonies from several state witnesses, indicate that she gave the directive to have the list altered.
“If no changes were made, why was the issue of changes to the list discussed in a brief meeting at the hand-over day?” Marondedze wanted to know. The state further indicated that evidence presented during the trial shows that Christiana Lorraine Hanse and Gowases are indeed both relatives of the minister.
Throughout the trial, Hanse-Himarwa denied being responsible for changes made to the list of people selected to receive state-funded housing at Mariental, when two of her relatives, who were originally not on the list, ended up benefiting from the mass housing development programme.
Hanse-Himarwa’s defence counsel Sisa Namandje countered that there is a conspiracy to have his client incriminated at all cost and thus she should be acquitted.
According to Namandje, the state witnesses were manipulated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to have the minister convicted.
Namandje said this can be corroborated by the strong similarities that is found in the witness statements - that state witnesses worked in unison and hand-in-hand with the ACC investigators to incriminate the minister.
“A lot of lies were told in this court. All to have Katrina Hanse-Himarwa look guilty and be convicted,” said Namandje.
Namandje is due to round up his oral submission when the matter resumes today in the High Court.
2019-05-22 08:34:04 3 months ago