A woman who used false documents to secure admission as a trainee nurse at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals was yesterday jailed for 15 months.
Elizabeth Kalenga, 26, who used a fake Ordinary Level certificate to get employment, wept uncontrollably after being slapped with the jail term.
She had pleaded with Harare magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini to spare her a prison term saying she has two minor children.
Her mother who was also seated in the gallery had to be walked out of the court room as she also mourned her daughter’s conviction.
Vhitorini sentenced Kalenga to 15 months’ imprisonment and suspended five on condition of good behavior.
Kalenga will serve an effective 10 months behind bars.
Vhitorini condemned Kalenga’s conduct saying she diced with people’s lives because she had been enrolled into the health sector without requisite qualifications.
“A short sharp custodial sentence will send a message that our courts do not condone such behaviour. The accused person thought she could just play with people’s lives and of all professions chose nursing,” Vhitorini said.
“The court will note that a number of qualified Zimbabweans are wallowing in poverty, unemployed, but the accused thought she could just use a shortcut and benefit.
This was a well-calculated offence and we want to ensure that that practice is cut before it goes out of hand.”
The complainant was Derick Kandemiri Principal Human Resources Officer Parirenyatwa School of Nursing.
Prosecutor Netsai Mushayabasa proved that sometime in May 2016 Parirenyatwa School of Nursing advertised in newspapers that they wanted trainee nurses.
The posts required candidates to have five Ordinary Level passes with Grade C or better and including English Language and a science subject.
Kalenga saw the advert and submitted a fake Ordinary Level certificate with seven passes bearing candidate number 010400/3082 to Parirenyatwa Schoool of Nursing to secure admission as a trainee nurse.
Parirenyatwa acted on the misrepresentation and enrolled Kalenga as a trainee registered nurse.
During Kalenga’s training, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission officers got a tip off leading to her arrest and recovery of the fake certificate.
The certificate was forwarded to Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) for authentication and was confirmed as a fake.
The candidate number that had been used belonged to Mugari Tinotenda B who had not even passed the examinations.