Woman pockets social grants for ‘ghost children’

02 Oct 2014 14:40pm
RUNDU, 02 OCT (NAMPA) - A woman who allegedly pocketed over N.dollars 30 000 in social grants after fraudulently registering ‘ghost children’ with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW), appeared in the Rundu Magistrate’s Court.
The 49-year-old Nando Kanyanga was arrested by members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) on Monday after it was discovered that she falsely obtained birth certificates from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration to register the four ‘ghost children’, aged between five and 14 years.
She is alleged to have pocketed about N.dollars 34 000 since 2011, with each ‘child’ receiving N.dollars 200 per month.
Kanyanga appeared in court on Thursday on one count of fraud, and two counts of forgery.
Rundu Magistrate Barry Mufana informed her of her right to engage legal representation of her choice, and granted the accused bail of N.dollars 2 000.
The case was then postponed to 24 November this year for further police investigations.
Kanyanga, a resident of the Kehemu informal settlement on the outskirts of Rundu, apparently used the death certificate of a certain Lukas Kativa to obtain the birth certificates of the four boys, which she then used to register them for the MGECW’s social grant.
It has not yet been established how she managed to obtain the birth certificates from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
She also made use of baptism cards obtained from a local church, and health passports to apply for the grants.
Nampa has also seen a copy of a declaration which Kanyanga made to the police, stating that she was the biological mother of the children.
She has since made a statement to the police, admitting that the four children do not exist and that she made up their names.
The case was opened by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration at Rundu, and they in turn alerted the MGECW.
Meanwhile, a social worker from the MGECW, Fransiska Hamutenya told this agency on Thursday that the ministry has suspended the social grants paid to the “ghost children”.