By Michelle Gwizi
A Bulawayo woman has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for forging an Ordinary Level certificate she used to train and practice as a nurse at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).
Rutendo Matope applied to be trained as a nurse in 2014 and graduated before being employed at the UBH where she started to work as a general nurse in April this year.
Matope pleaded guilty to charges of presenting a forged certificate to a prospective employer when she appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Lesigo Ngwenya.
She was convicted and sentenced to 12 months in jail.
“You have been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, two months suspended on condition that you do not commit a similar offence in the next three years, 10 months suspended on condition that you serve 350 hours of community service,” said the magistrate.
When she was asked by Magistrate Ngwenya why she forged the certificate, Matope said she wanted a job to fend for her family.
“I just wanted to get a job so I could take care of my family, please forgive me,” she said.
Prosecuting, Mr Leonard Chile said sometime in September 2014, Matope produced a fake Ordinary Level certificate at Chitungwiza Central Hospital and got admitted to train as a nurse for three years.
“She was deployed to UBH to work as a general nurse on April 25 this year. On May 27, the complainant, Ms Pauline Mahureva, a security officer at ZIMSEC, was approached by members of the Public Service Commission (PSC) advising her to check Matope’s certificate in the system,” said Mr Chile.
He said Matope’s name did not appear in the system.
Ms Mahureva was advised by the PSC that Matope was working at UBH. On June 4 she reported the matter leading to Matope’s arrest.
The certificate was recovered and produced in court as an exhibit. The Chronicle