BANKET A bid by five Karoi men to join the army using fraudulent academic documents backfired after they were caught during a recruitment exercise, leading to their arrest.
The five Tonderai Muchongwe, Lloyd Chime, Paul Tinago, Dickson Kaguda and their ring leader Tinashe Imbayago were charged with fraud when they appeared at a Banket circuit court on Monday.
State counsel Farai Zachariah told the court that on January 24, the five went to Inkomo Mechanised Brigade in Nyabira where the army was recruiting prospective soldiers.
They produced counterfeit copies of their O Level certificates to the recruiting officer identified as Shadreck Masiya.
Masiya became suspicious when he noticed that Imbayagos certificate did not look original.
He reported the matter to his superiors who in turn alerted police in Nyabira.
Further investigations revealed all five of the men had fake documents.
The Zimbabwe School Examination Council (Zimsec)s assistant security officer Priscah Maredza sent a letter to the court advising that Imbayago did not write the November 2007 examination at Chitindiva High School as candidate 080180/3185 and the results purported to have been achieved were fictitious.
The letter was produced in court as an exhibit. Zimsec also disowned certificates held by the other four men.
Magistrate Funny Nyakudya convicted the five cheats of fraud and sentenced them to a wholly suspended six-month jail term.
You need to go to school so that you dont engage in fraudulent activities.
The courts wont be lenient with you if you commit a similar offence in the next three years, he said.