WINDHOEK – The case of former president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) from the University of Namibia (Unam) was withdrawn last week due to the unavailability of state witnesses.
Joseph Kalimbwe, 25, was facing charges ranging from fraud, forgery and uttering a forged instrument following his arrest on May 31, 2017.
Kalimbwe’s case was on the court roll for the start of his trial following several postponements. However, when he made an appearance in Windhoek Magistrate’s Court last week, the state made an application to have the case against him provisionally withdrawn from the court’s roll.
According to state prosecutor Bernadine Bertolini, there were no witnesses present at court and given the number of times the case has been postponed for a plea and trial, it is prudent that the case be provisionally withdrawn.
The provisional withdrawal does not translate to an acquittal, thus Kalimbwe will be re-summoned once the state has subpoenaed the witnesses and are ready to proceed.
The court refunded N$1000 that was paid for Kalimbwe’s release from custody. The prosecution is alleging that Kalimbwe who is a Zambian national forged his proof of registration for 2017 academic year which he used in enticing the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigrations to furnish him with a study permit. Kalimbwe was not a registered student with the university where he managed to be elected as SRC president for 2017 academic year. It is further alleged Kalimbwe was the ringleader of the group of students who were attempting force entry into the campus Grub, on May 27. The group claims that they wanted to make use of the space because all other study facilities on campus were full to capacity.
As a result, Kalimbwe and two other students were furnished with expulsion letters and ordered to leave the school premises. Unam had instituted criminal charges against Kalimbwe.
Kalimbwe has denied any wrongdoing. In his defence, the former student said that he have been a registered student with the university since 2013. Furthermore, he was due to continue his studies for a master’s programme in public administration for the 2017 academic year.