Munyama Pleads Not Guilty

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Gerry Petrus Munyama, the former head of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), pleaded not guilty to all charges against him yesterday in the Windhoek magistrate’s court. Munyama, who faces two charges of fraud, forgery and an alternative charge of theft, said he is absolutely not guilty. The case of the former DG who is accused of defrauding the state broadcaster of N$346 000, was postponed to June 04, 2007 for the Prosecutor General’s decision. Reading the charges against Munyama, Prosecutor Petrus Grushaber said the crimes were committed on March 15, 2005 and May 17, 2005. The first charge states that on May 17, 2005, Munyama allegedly opened an Executive Account at Standard Bank and paid in an amount of N$307 145 with the intention to defraud the NBC of the said amount. The alternative charge of theft is that Munyama withdrew an amount of N$25 000 from the Executive Account. The second charge against the former DG is that he forged documents on March 15, 2005 and changed the content of the resolutions of the NBC. After the charges were read, Munyama was informed by Windhoek Magistrate Helvi Kauna Shilemba that the case would be postponed to June to enable the Office of the Prosecutor-General to make a ruling. Munyama’s bail of N$10 000 was extended. He was represented by Richard Mueller from PF Koep Attorneys. Earlier reports indicate that the charges that Munyama faces were laid against him by the NBC Board of Directors shortly after his suspension was effected in November 2005. NBC Board Chairman, Ponhele ya France, announced at a media conference on November 16, 2005 that Munyama was involved in serious misconduct and that thousands of dollars were allegedly paid into his personal bank account as he had signing powers over the corporation’s bank account. Munyama allegedly offered to resign from his post in turn that the cases against him be dropped. He, however, voluntarily resigned a day before he was scheduled to appear before a disciplinary hearing. He has also allegedly on several occasions unsuccessfully tried to convince the NBC board to settle the issue out of court. Munyama was appointed to replace Ben Mulongeni as NBC boss in January 2003 after he worked as Trade AttachÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© at the Namibian Embassy in Washington DC, USA. The post is now occupied by former Information and Broadcasting Permanent Secretary Vezera Kandetu while Munyama has since taken up employment with the United Africa Group of Companies.