26 May 2013 05:10
WINDHOEK, 26 MAY (NAMPA) - The election fraud trial of former Elections Director Philemon Kanime and two others is scheduled to start in the Windhoek Regional Court here on Monday.
The trial is expected to begin before Windhoek Magistrate Sarel Jacobs in the Regional Court in Katutura along Mungunda Street at about 09h00.
The case of alleged election fraud was on 05 February this year remanded until 27 May 2013 for the start of the trial proper.
In February, the case was postponed based on an agreement that was reached between prosecution?s State Advocate Ed Marondedze and the two defence lawyers Hennie Barnard and Albert Strydom.
This trial is set to run for three days, until 29 May 2013.
The two other accused persons in the matter are the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN)'s Chief Systems Administrator Nicodemus Mingelius and member of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) Magnus Nangombe.
According to the charge sheet, Nangombe is listed as accused number one, followed by Mingelius and Kanime.
The trio face charges of fraud in connection with the 2008 Omuthiya local authority by-elections.
The three men made their first court appearance in June 2009, shortly after the management of the ECN brought the fraud charges against them.
The alleged election fraud relates to controversies that came up during the ECN's preparations for the February 2008 municipal elections in the then newly-proclaimed town of Omuthiya in the Oshikoto Region.
Following the controversies, Kanime was put on 'special leave' in March 2008, while his deputy Ananias Elago, the late ECN Chief Control Officer Hesekiel Shigwedha and Mingelius were all suspended for several months in the aftermath of the alleged Omuthiya elections' fraud scandal.
Elago, Mingelius and the late Shigwedha were reinstated five months later, but no disciplinary hearings were conducted against them.
The municipal elections were scheduled for 29 February 2008, but were called off at the last minute, amidst accusations of inefficiency and questions of political party loyalty.
The elections eventually took place on 26 September 2008.
Accused Nangombe, who allegedly appeared fraudulently on the voters' roll for Omuthiya, and Mingelius were both accused of having forged an application for registration as voters on Form number 2004305280, dated 06 February 2008, according to court papers.
Kanime is accused of wrongfully, falsely and with intent to defraud, giving out and pretending to the Electoral Commission and/or Government that Nangombe was on 06 February 2008 lawfully and properly registered at Omuthiya for the election.
Nangombe and Mingelius were also charged on the same count.
Nangombe was listed as RDP's candidate for the Omuthiya Town Council at the time.
The ECN later decided to remove his name from the list after the Swapo-Party claimed that Kanime had allegedly smuggled Nangombe onto the voters' roll, as Nangombe had apparently registered after the official cut-off date.
Kanime hit back by saying that he did not know how the Swapo-Party got hold of the list of candidates, but he was sure that Nangombe had registered on time.
The Swapo-Party maintained their objection to the presence of Nangombe's name, along with the names of 11 others, on that list.
Kanime's 'special leave' lasted until his term of office ended at the end of September 2008.
He later officially left the governing Swapo-Party, and joined the RDP as a member.
The three accused persons are all free on a warning.