Education chief accountant in N$20 000 bribe
By Maria Kandjungu
THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) arrested a chief accountant in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture as well as a local business owner who paid the former N$20 000 to fast track an invoice.
Preliminary investigations suggest that chief accountant Martha Mpingana Uuyuni (42) solicited N$20 000 from business owner Erphas Shiwoomwenyo Heita (39) to speed up payment of an invoice for services his company rendered to the ministry.
Confidente is reliably informed that Heita got a tender to supply Grade 12 examination equipment and wanted his invoice paid without delay. When he requested for immediate payment, Uuyuni allegedly solicited N$20 000 to fast track the invoice.
Prosecutor General, Martha Imalwa ordered that they be arrested and arraigned before court.
Uuyuni faces two charges; contravening section 43 of the Anti-Corruption Act alternatively corruptly using an office or position for gratification. This carries a fine of N$500 000 or imprisonment of 25 years or both if found guilty.
“…On or about November 2018 at Windhoek, the said accused being a public officer: (to with) Chief Accountant and or Chief Financial Officer did wrongfully, unlawfully, directly or indirectly and corruptly used her office or position in a public body to Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to obtain a gratification for her own benefit to with N$20 000 thus the accused did contravene section 43 (1) of Act 8 of 2003.
She also faces a charge of contravening section 35 of the Anti-Corruption Act alternatively corruptly accepting gratification by an agent as a reward.
“…On or about November 2018 at Windhoek, the said accused being an agent did wrongfully, unlawfully, directly or indirectly and corruptly solicit or accept or agree to accept from Erphas Shiwoomwenyo Heita a gratification … N$20 000 as a reward for having done or having omitted to do anything, in relation to the affairs or business of her principal with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture,” court documents read in part.
Heita on the other hand faces a charge of corruptly giving gratification to an agent as an inducement.
“…On November 2018 in Windhoek, the accused did wrongfully, unlawfully, directly or indirectly and corruptly offer or give or agree to give an agent to with Martha Mpingana Uuyuni for the benefit of the said Martha Mpingana Uuyuni to wit N$20 000 as an inducement to do or to omit doing anything in relation to the affairs or business of the agent’s principal to wit fast track and or speed up the payment of an invoice submitted by HS Labtech Trading Investment CC for services rendered to the Ministry of education, Arts and Culture (sic).”
Appearing before Windhoek Magistrate Linus Samunzala recently, Uuyuni opted to source services of a private lawyer while Heita chose to conduct his own defence.
The case was postponed to July 1 to allow legal representation for Uuyuni. They were each granted N$10 000 bail. They were warned to turn up for their next court appearance or risk a warrant of arrest being issued and their bail money provisionally forfeited to the State.