19 June 2019

Zimbabwe: Cyclone Idai 'Victim' Arrested After Attempting to Use Stolen Certificates to Secure Employment

A Chimanimani man, who purported to be a victim of tropical Cyclone Idai, was arrested after he produced stolen academic certificates and tried to use them to secure employment and humanitarian assistance.

Tawanda Sigauke (21) appeared before Mutare magistrate Tendai Mahwe facing charges of "possession of articles" for criminal use.

He was remanded in custody for trial and was not represented.

Prosecutors told the court that on June 3 around 14:00, Sigauke went to Mutare Central Police Station and approached the community relations office, seeking assistance to be employed in the force claiming he was a Chimanimani resident who lost both parents during the cyclone.

He was asked to produce his academic certificates for vetting. He reportedly produced an Ordinary and Advanced level certificates, a birth certificate and curriculum vitae belonging to Edmore Mangiza.

Sigauke also requested his name to be included on the list of beneficiaries who were receiving Cyclone Idai humanitarian assistance in Chimanimani and Chipinge.

Constable Mutsenhu vetted Sigauke and realised his finger prints failed to match with those of Mangiza.

It also came to light that Sigauke was uneducated as he failed to fill in the forms he was given to write his details.

After an interrogation, Sigauke confessed that he had stolen the certificate to get assistance leading to his arrest.

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