Trio In Court For Creating Fake O' Level Certificates To Be Admitted Into Foreign Universities
Three individuals from Harare appeared in court before Magistrate Stanford Mambanje on Wednesday, facing charges of forgery after they allegedly created fake Ordinary Level certificates to gain admission into foreign universities.
The accused are, Cindy Mutswatiwa (29), Kundai Mutape (39), and Malvern Nengomasha (32). Molyn Mugodi (40) is also charged in this case, but is currently at large.
According to the allegations, in June 2022, Mugodi was arrested by officers from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) for creating fake national identity cards, which were used to defraud pensioners. Mugodi’s computer and printer were used to produce several fake Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (Zimsec) Ordinary and Advanced Level certificates. Investigators discovered that Mugodi was working with the three accused in a scheme where they would authenticate the forged certificates at the Foreign Affairs Ministry for a fee.
Mutswatiwa allegedly forged her Ordinary Level certificate in January 2022 to apply for a degree in Dentistry at the University of Donetsk in Ukraine. Mugodi also created a fake certificate for Mutape. Each of the accused was granted bail of $200,000.
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Academic certificate forgery is a significant problem in Zimbabwe, with many individuals using fraudulent means to secure employment or gain admission to higher education institutions. This trend has affected even high-level officials and professionals. High unemployment rates and a lack of effective mechanisms for verifying certificate authenticity contribute to the prevalence of this issue.