WINDHOEK: Corruption charges levelled against Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Kahijoro Kahuure were dismissed by the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
The PS was on Tuesday afternoon set free following his acquittal on the corruption charges he had been facing.
The now-dismissed charges stemmed from allegations that Kahuure drove a Government vehicle without authorisation while he was serving as PS in the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Windhoek Magistrate Helvi Kauna Shilemba, who presided over the trial on Tuesday said after carefully perusing the evidence presented before court by both the defence and prosecution, she came to the conclusion that the State (prosecution) has completely failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused PS made use of a Government-owned vehicle without authorisation.
“All the documentation presented before court shows that the accused PS was authorised to use the vehicle. As a result I, therefore, find the accused person not guilty on the corruption charges he was facing,” the Magistrate stated.
During the proceedings of the trial, the State also failed to present prima facie evidence before court showing that Kahuure had actually driven the vehicle in question.
“The Namibian laws do not require the accused person to assist the State (prosecution) to prove its case. In this case, the State failed to prove a case against the accused person,” Magistrate Shilemba explained.
Speaking to members of the media shortly after the corruption charges were dismissed by the court, Kahuure said “I am happy that justice has prevailed at last.”
In the matter, the PS stood accused of allegedly contravening some sections of the Anti-Corruption Act and the Road Traffic and Transport Act for operating a Government-owned vehicle without authorisation.
He stood accused of operating a government-owned vehicle without authorisation on or between 12 and 15 November 2008 on the Windhoek-Hosea Kutako International Airport road.
Kahuure was charged with corruptly using his office or position for gratification.
The alternative charge to the above-mentioned main charge was that Kahuure allegedly used a vehicle without its owner’s consent.
In submissions during trial, State Prosecutor Jackson Kuutondokwa wanted the court to find the PS guilty on both the main and the alternative charges.
Prominent Windhoek-based defence lawyer, Patrick Kauta, who represented the accused PS, told Magistrate Shilemba that the State “dismally failed” to prove its case and asked the court to dismiss the alleged corruption charges against his client.
Kauta argued that the use of the vehicle in question was usually at the behest of his client.
He further told the court that Kahuure had submitted a written request for authority and approval was granted, as is normally done at State-owned entities and ministries.
Kahuure was free on a warning.