By Mashudu Netsianda
A Zimbabwean bogus lawyer who was arrested in Botswana for allegedly practising without proper qualifications has been using his late brother’s certificates obtained from the University of Zimbabwe.
The latest development emerged when Meshack Nyakaswa (42) of Nyakaswa Legal Services appeared before a Broadhurst magistrate Mr Tshepo Thedi facing charges of forgery and practising law without proper qualifications.
The investigating officer in the matter, Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo told the court that Nyakaswa claimed to have graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor Degree in Law from the UZ.
“Nyakaswa claimed to be a holder of a Bachelor Degree in Law from the University in Zimbabwe having graduated back in 2004, but it turned out that the certificate belonged to his late brother. His operating in Botswana as a lawyer is not genuine and I have discovered that back in 2014, Nyakaswa did his Diploma in Law at Gaborone University College,” he said.
“Something is fishy here. How can someone who holds a degree later enrol for a diploma course?”
Det Snr Supt Marapo said he seized 312 files for people that Nyakaswa allegedly represented at both the Magistrates’ and High Courts.
According to media reports in the neighbouring country, Nyakaswa and his accomplice, Nkosana Admire Ngwenya (27) of Ngwenya and Associates were arrested on Tuesday last week.
Ngwenya, despite being a trained lawyer from the University of Botswana, is facing charges of operating his law firm in Gaborone illegally as its permit had expired last year.
He is also alleged to be in Botswana illegally following the expiry of his residence and work permits.
According to Mmegi newspaper, Ngwenya has been operating a law firm in Phase 2, Gaborone without residence and work permits from September 2017 to date and allegedly unlawfully remained in Botswana for more than 292 days.
The particulars of Nyakaswa’s obtaining by false pretences charge state that between October 22, 2015 and February 19, 2016 in Gaborone with intent to defraud obtained P6 300 from Loeto Rebatenne of Gaborekwe General Dealer and Fresh Produce as legal fees by falsely pretending that he was a duly registered lawyer and admitted as such in Botswana while he knew that the information was false. The Chronicle