15 June 2018

Namibia: Trial Date Set for Suspended Unam SRC President

Windhoek — The trial of the suspended president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) from the University of Namibia (Unam) Joseph Kalimbwe has been postponed due to incomplete police investigations on the matter.

Kalimbwe, 24, was scheduled to start with his trial on Tuesday, only to be told that the case cannot go on as scheduled, as investigations are yet to be finalised. Kalimbwe is facing criminal charges ranging from fraud, forgery and uttering a forged instrument, following his arrest on May 31, 2017.

"When I requested the docket last week, it came to my attention that a statemen is outstanding from a Home Affairs official," said State prosecutor Marcus Angula. According to the State, the investigation officer was unable to obtain the statement as he is finding it difficult to identify the Home Affairs personnel, who dealt with the case and thus the case should be postponed.

Stanley Kavetu, Kalimbwe's defense attorney opposed the postponement, citing that Kalimbwe will be pursuing further studies in Florida, USA from August. The court gave a final remand for a plea and trial, postponing the case to July 06.

His criminal charges emanates from allegations that he was amongst those that were instigating a group of students to attempt a forced entry into the school's cafeteria 'Grub' on May 27. The students allegedly wanted to make use of the cafeteria for study purposes since all other facilities were full to capacity.

Consequently, Kalimbwe and two other students were furnished with expulsion letters ordering them to leave the Unam premises.

According to court documents, Kalimbwe who is a Zambian national forged his proof of registration for 2017 academic year with the University between February 20 and May 29. With such document, he allegedly enticed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration to furnish him with a study visa and thus elected as SRC president for the 2017 academic year.

In his defense, Kambwe said that he has been a registered student with the university since 2013 and was due to register for a Master's programme in Public Administration for the 2017 academic year.


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