State lawyer demands direct imprisonment for Hanse-Himarwa

High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg should be swayed into believing the former Education Minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa is remorseful for her actions when she used her position for gratification, as doing so would make a mockery of Namibia's criminal justice system.

This was the submission of Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondedze who was representing the State during the presentencing trial Wednesday.

The 52-year-old Hanse-Himarwa was found guilty of wrongly and corruptly using her position as the governor of the Hardap Region for self-gratification when she made changes to the original list of beneficiaries of the mass housing project in 2014.

Earlier that day, Hanse-Himarwa, through her lawyer, SisaNamandje expressed remorse for her actions and as well as her unreserved regret for her deeds.

When he took the stand, Marondedze asked Liebenberg not to be persuaded by Namandje's submission.

He[Namandje] omitted to tell the court when the accused person started having remorse. Was it yesterday? he asked.

According to Marondedze, it is well-documented in the local media that Hanse-Himarwa showed no remorse throughout her trial.

Quoting Hanse-Himarwa during an interview with local journalists immediately after her conviction, he said: We will study the judgment and for sure, this is not the end. It is obvious that it [conviction] has an impact on your political career. But that for me is not even the end. I am not moved because this is nothing.

These remarks, made in court by Hanse-Himarwa shortly after her conviction are tantamount to contempt, the State lawyer said.

What does it show about her attitude towards the judiciary? To refer to this Honourable Court as 'another human being'? That is the greatest contempt I have ever heard about. And to say this [conviction] is 'nothing', my lord, to call this honorable court nothing, that indeed is regrettable. The court should reject the instruction. There is no remorse at all.

He then dismissed the notion that the court should be merciful on the Swapo MP for losing her position in Cabinet as she was not fired but relinquished her position voluntarily.

If this court is were to agree with my learned friend that this case has caused financial losses for the accused when the people have read in the newspaper that the person has deep enough pockets, it would cause a mockery of justice in this country, he said referring to comments made by Hanse-Himarwa to a local newspaper on Monday.

He added that Hanse-Himarwa betrayed the trust of the Head of State and central government.

To suggest that she must be given a fine of N.dollars 35 000 is trivializing this case. This is a good case to set an example [for future offender]. The court must mete direct imprisonment, he concluded.

Hanse-Himarwa will hear her fate on Wednesday, 31 July 2019.

Source: Namibia Press Agency