Corruption charges withdrawn against MAWF employee

WINDHOEK; A Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) employee arrested here in March this year for fraud and corruption involving more than N.dollars 120 000, has been set free.

The 29-year-old Joyce Daphne Erna Zussino saw the withdrawal of the corruption and fraud charges by the prosecution when she made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court along Luderitz Street.

The withdrawal came shortly after Public Prosecutor Henry Muhongo informed presiding Magistrate John Liwoyo Sindano that he had received instructions from the Office of the Prosecutor-General not to proceed with the matter, and instead to apply for a withdrawal of the case.

“This matter was postponed from Wednesday to today for the purposes of plea and trial.

In the meantime, and after considering the evidence of the case, I have received instructions from the Office of Prosecutor-General Martha Ekandjo-Imalwa to apply for the withdrawal of the case.

This information was also communicated to Zussino’s defence lawyer Sisa Namandje,” said Muhongo.

In the result, Magistrate Sindano withdrew the charges against the accused.

In addition, an order was also made by the court that her bail money of N.dollars 20 000 be refunded to the depositor.

In the matter, she was facing a total of nine charges of fraud and corruption for allegedly having contravened Section 36 of the Anti-Corruption Act, Act No 08 of 2003.

ACC Chief Investigator Nelius Becker had said in a media statement issued in March this year that Zussino was employed as a private secretary to the Director of Extension and Engineering Services at the ministry’s head office in the capital.

It was alleged that Zussino owned a company called Tuahafa-Zussino Creations, which allegedly delivered some services to the Agriculture ministry where she worked.

It is alleged that she allegedly had a role in obtaining quotations for the ministry, and her company also submitted quotations while she was privy to the information and pricing of other suppliers.

Furthermore, it was alleged that she did not have the required permission to perform remunerative work outside her formal employment.

A total of N.dollars 121 749-50 is said to have been involved in the alleged fraud and corruption case, said Becker at the time.