Windhoek-Joseph Kalimbwe, the suspended leader of the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Namibia (Unam) was granted bail of N$1,000 on Friday after the university had instituted criminal charges against him.
Kalimbwe, 24, made his first appearance in a heavily guarded Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of fraud, forgery and uttering a forged instrument.
He was arrested on May 31 after Unam laid criminal charges against him following allegations that he was amongst those that were instigating a group of students to attempt a forced entry into the campus cafeteria, The Grub, on May 27.
The students allegedly wanted to make use of the cafeteria for study purposes, as all other facilities were said to be full to capacity.
Subsequently, Kalimbwe and two other students were furnished with expulsion letters ordering them to leave the premises of Unam.
According to the prosecution, Kalimbwe – a Zambian national – had forged his proof of registration for the 2017 academic year at Unam, some time between February 20 and May 29.
With regard to the fraud charge, the prosecution alleges that with the forged documents Kalimbwe falsely and with intent defrauded the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, who issued him with a study visa while he was in fact not a registered student in Namibia.
With the forged documents he allegedly induced the university to appoint him as SRC president, while he was not a registered student for the academic year 2017, according to the substantial summary on the charge sheet.
It is understood that Kalimbwe had applied for a master’s programme in public administration at Unam for the 2017 academic year, but never registered for that course.
He was, however, elected to the position of SRC president late last year while a registered student for his undergraduate studies.
According to Kalimbwe, he has been registered with Unam since 2013.
Through his defence attorney, Kadhila Amoomo, Kalimbwe lodged a formal bail application, in response to which Magistrate Jo-Rina Jagger granted him bail in the amount of N$1,000 on condition that he surrender all his travel documents. Also, he may not apply for new travel documents and should report in person to the Windhoek police station between 08h00 and 12h00 every Friday.
A large contingent of Unam students who attended the hearing on Friday quickly mobilised funds among themselves to help secure the bail money for the beleaguered student leader to ensure his release.