An employee of the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) who allegedly falsely pretended that Covid samples were genuinely tested and resulted in negative outcomes, thereby pocketing N$54 230, made a first appearance before Windhoek magistrate Linus Samunzala yesterday.

Uuika Nuunyango (34) did not plead to charges of fraud and using false documents by an agent. Her lawyer, Nambili Mhata, however, indicated to the magistrate that his client would plead not guilty to the charges.

It is alleged that she wrongfully, unlawfully, falsely and with the intent to defraud gave out and pretended to the NIP and the State that 53 Covid-19 test samples were genuinely tested and results turned out negative, and by means of these false pretences, induced NIP and the State to the actual loss of N$54 230.

It is further alleged that she used her position as an employee to tamper with the said 53 Covid-19 results to reflect a false negative result, and thus committed fraud.

On the second charge, it is alleged that she, employed as an enrolled nurse at NIP, used the false test results to mislead NIP, the State or any other person, and as such is guilty of contravening the Anti-Corruption Act, which carries a fine not exceeding N$500 000 or imprisonment not exceeding 25 years, or both.

Public prosecutor Sylvia Kauluma strenuously objected to bail, submitting that the offences committed are very serious, and that Nuunyango abused her position of trust at the NIP. She further said the known consequences of false negative test results are aggravating as the accused enabled 53 persons to travel internationally with false results, thereby placing the lives of not only Namibians but people globally in danger of possible infection with the dreaded disease.