KAHIJORO Kahuure, the former Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, yesterday afternoon heard that he was off the hook in a corruption trial. Magistrate Helvi Shilemba found that the State had not proven beyond reasonable doubt that the current PS in the Ministry of Mines and Energy was guilty of graft.
"The court was not totally convinced that the State proved [the case] beyond reasonable doubt. The court finds the accused not guilty and acquits him of all charges."
Kahuure had maintained throughout that he had authorisation to use the government car over which he faced corruption charges.
The high-profile trial saw Richard Kamwi, the Minister of Health and Social Services, and Frans Kapofi, the Secretary to Cabinet, in the box as State witnesses.
Kahuure made a first appearance on the charges more than three years ago - on September 2 2009. Kahuure was charged with corruptly using his office or position for gratification.
The alternative charge that he faced was that he used a vehicle without its owner's consent.
According to the charge sheet, the alleged corruption took place between November 12 and 15 2008 on the road to the Hosea Kutako International Airport.
It was alleged that he was not allowed to use the government vehicle on a trip to the airport.During his testimony, Kahuure related that his car had been involved in an accident at the time that he used the government vehicle.
Kapofi, Shilemba said, testified that Kahuure, as PS, may use his discretion to use a government vehicle for short trips. Kahuure was represented by Patrick Kauta. Deputy Prosecutor General Jackson Kuutondokwa acted on behalf of the State.
Following his not guilty verdict, Kahuure told reporters: "I feel great that the truth has come out. Justice has prevailed."
He claimed that the charges against him were concocted but did not want to say who was behind it. Kahuure added that he did not plan to institute legal action against the Anti-Corruption Commission over the failed charges against him.