Seven men in court for illegal voters’ cards

KATWITWI: The three Angolans and four Namibians who were arrested for allegedly illegally obtaining voters’ cards briefly appeared in the Kahenge Magistrate’s court on Wednesday.

The Namibians stand accused of assisting the three Angolan nationals by standing in as witnesses at the registration point to enable them to obtain voters’ cards.

During their brief court appearance, Kahenge relief Magistrate Patricia Mbumbo informed the suspects of their right to engage the legal representation of their choice, and all of the accused opted to conduct their own defence.

The Namibians – Emilie Kakwata, Justina Kavanzi, Mbilisu Munganga and Tjivi Ngombe – were granted bail of N.dollars 800 each, while the Angolans – Pedro Antonio, 28; Rabanus Muhoka, age unknown; and Benjamin Augustinho,27 – were remanded in custody.

Their case was then postponed to 20 May this year for further police investigation.

Kakwata, Kavanzi, Munganga and Ngombe stand accused of contravening Section 96 of the Electoral Act 24 of 1992. Antonio, Muhoka and Augustinho face charges of violating Sections 19 and 96 of the Electoral Act 24 of 1992.

The accused were arrested at the Katwitwi Primary School in the Kavango West Region last Wednesday.

The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Crime Investigations’ Coordinator in the two Kavango regions, Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton told Nampa earlier that the three entered Namibia with day passes at the Katwitwi border post and went to the Katwitwi Primary School registration point to register as voters.

They successfully obtained voters’ cards, but were spotted by a police inspector at Katwitwi, who identified them as Angolan citizens.

Bampton said the suspects successfully registered and obtained Namibian voters’ cards using church baptism certificates obtained from a church in Namibia.

The name of the church could not be established.

Several opposition political parties in the country have expressed concern over the possibility of Angolans registering as eligible voters as many of the neighbouring country’s citizens cross the border on a daily basis to access services and goods.