Namibia: Munyama to Wait Longer for PG Decision

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The case in which former Namibian Broadcasting Corporation Director General Gerry Munyama is facing a charge of defrauding the NBC of some N$346 000 was postponed for a second time yesterday for the Prosecutor General to decide on the further course the case will take. Munyama (51) made a sixth appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday.

At his last appearance on February 8, he pleaded not guilty to a charge of fraud, alternatively theft, and a count of forgery and uttering, and the matter was postponed yesterday for the Prosecutor General's decision. That decision was not yet available yesterday.

After Public Prosecutor Nuncia Sikongo asked Magistrate Helvi Shilemba to postpone the matter to July 2, Munyama's lawyer, Irvin Titus, told the court that the PG's decision was not available because the case file had not yet been sent to the PG's office. Titus asked the Magistrate to order the prosecution to speed up the matter and asked that the court postpone the case for a final time. The Magistrate declined the request to order a final postponement.

Munyama was appearing in court for the PG's decision for the first time yesterday, she noted. Munyama now has to be back in court on July 2. He remains free on bail of N$20 000.

He was granted bail at his first appearance in court on November 29 2005, which was the day that he was arrested in connection with allegations that he had been caught with his hands in the NBC till. The first charge against Munyama at this stage is a count of fraud.

In this charge it is alleged that he had pretended to Standard Bank and an employee of the bank on May 17 2005 that he was entitled, in terms of a resolution taken at an NBC Board meeting, to open an "NBC Executive Account" and to exclusively handle the account.

When he allegedly did that, it is charged, he knew that the claimed Board resolution was in fact false, with the result that he was not entitled to open the bank account and withdraw funds from it for his own benefit.

Munyama also allegedly pretended to the bank that he was authorised to deposit three cheques - of N$307 145, N$13 850,88 and N$25 000 - into the account, and that he was further entitled to withdraw and transfer funds from the account. The result of the allegedly fraudulent opening of the account and subsequent withdrawals from it was that the NBC lost an amount of N$345 995,88, it is claimed. In an alternative to the fraud charge, Munyama is facing a count of theft.

In that charge he is accused of having stolen N$345 995,88 from the NBC on May 17 2005. The second main charge against Munyama is a count of forgery and uttering a forged instrument.

Here it is alleged that Munyama on May 16 2005 forged a resolution of the NBC Board meeting that was held on March 15 2005, and that he on May 16 2005, with the intention to defraud, offered that forged document to Standard Bank.

(The Namibian (Windhoek), 5 June 2007)