Namibia: Alleged tampering of COVID-19 test to apply for bail

An employee of the Namibian Institute of Pathology (NIP) who erroneously claimed that Covid samples were really tested and resulted in negative results, and thus received $54,230, first appeared before Windhoek Magistrate Linus Samunzala yesterday.

Uuika Nuunyango (34 years old) did not file a forgery case and the use of forged documents by an agent. But her attorney, Nambili Mahata, indicated to the judge that his client would plead not guilty to the charges.

She allegedly falsely, unlawfully, erroneously and with fraud intent provided and pretended to NIP and the State that 53 Covid-19 test specimens had been genuinely tested and the results came back negative, and through these false allegations, caused NIP and the State an actual loss of N$54,230.

It is also alleged that she used her position as an employee to manipulate the aforementioned Covid-19 results into a false negative result, thus perpetrating a fraud.

On the second count, she, who worked as a registered nurse at NIP, is alleged to have used false test results to mislead the NIP, the state or any other person, and is therefore guilty of violating the Anti-Corruption Act, which carries a fine not to exceed 500,000 Namibian dollars or imprisonment not exceeding 25 year, or both.

Prosecutor Silvia Kauluma strongly objected to the bail, saying the crimes committed were extremely serious, and that Nonyango abused her position of trust in the NIP. She further said that the known consequences of false negative test results are exacerbated by the fact that the accused enabled 53 people to travel internationally with false results, putting the lives of not only Namibians but people globally at risk of potential infection with the dreaded disease.