Company uses stolen papers to get recognition

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A HARARE-BASED private security firm, Volsec Security Services, fraudulently acquired its ISO certification status last year after using stolen documents from its rival, Securico Services (Pvt) Ltd, NewsDay has learnt.

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This was revealed last month after former Securico secretary Zinya Makombe (34) appeared before Harare magistrate Tilda Matambanashe and was convicted of theft after she breached her former paymaster’s password and transferred the quality assurance documents to her new employer Volsec’s computer system.

The court heard that Volsec management then submitted the stolen documents to the Standards Association of Zimbabwe purporting to have originated them in line with ISO9001/2008 requirements.
As a result of the misrepresentation, the security firm was awarded an ISO quality assurance certificate.

In her judgement, the magistrate noted that evidence pointed that Makombe had indeed played a part in the acquisition by Volsec of an ISO certificate and that the role she played could not have been clean beyond doubt. Even Volsec, she said, had admitted Makombe had played a crucial role in their recognition.

“The Arbitration Committee even mentioned that Volsec admitted that Makombe (accused) was key to Volsec’s certification project team and that she played an active role in Securico’s certification then and that she had used her experience and exposure gained over the years.

The court cannot fault this, but these are the other circumstances that pointed to the accused person as the culprit excluding all the others raised by the defence,” the magistrate said in her judgment convicting Makombe.

Securico Services (Pvt) Ltd was the first indigenous security company to attain ISO certification by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe.

The court heard that sometime between February and October 2012, Makombe, who had worked for Securico for 10 years before she formally resigned to join Volsec, broke into her former employer’s computer system server using a password. She then transferred the template which Securico had used to apply for its ISO certificate to her new bosses’ system.

The offence only came to light after some former Securico employees who are now employed by Volsec Security noted some striking content similarities between the firms’ quality assurance manuals.

According to court documents, the State produced evidence to prove that Makombe had played a key role in both companies’ certification projects and that she was the sole custodian of Securico’s computer password before her departure.

Magistrate Matambanashe initially sentenced her to 12 months imprisonment, but suspended six months on condition of good behaviour and the remainder on condition she performed 210 hours of community service at Warren Park 1 Primary School commencing November 19 last year.

In passing sentence, Matambanashe considered that Makombe was a female first offender.

18 COMMENTS

  1. I think the court should also ask SAZ to revoke the certificate that it awarded to Volsec security since it was based on stolen intellectual property of another company.

  2. This case is symptomatic of the curse of Zimbabwean business. We want to cut corners and get rich quick. We have forgotten how to work hard – to be patient – and to be honest.

  3. True indeed. I support the fact that Volsec’s licence should be revoked. they need to work their own system and not just get it for free. Securico must have pumped out a fortune to get the system and they got it on a silver platter – hazviite!!!

  4. The company is not trustworthy,iSO certificate should get repossessed . misrepresentation is a crime, I don’t think organisations who are engaged with their services will continue with them.

  5. I think there is a problem with SAZ. Do they issue these certificates based on paperwork only or they actually carry out compliance audits. If management at Volsec were so unprofessional I don’t see them being able to implement securico systems even by coping. They must have paid their way to obtaining certification by presenting the documents stolen from securico.

  6. pfungwa dzemunhu hadzichinje just because ava kushandira imwe company. ndosaka hurumende ichipa vanhu mari kuti vasatizwa nemaskilled pple whom they want most. ipfungwa dzake hapana nyaya ngaaende kuhigh court. magadhi akatengesa munhu ngaasungisiwewo ne Volsec vane nyaya. ndozvo.

    • Where did she say she changed jobs because of money? She obviously got that job at Volsec as a trade off for selling them the documents.

  7. This is much hulabaloo about nothing.In the first instance did Securico originate those documents from scratch?.No one can re-invent the wheel.what you can only do is to modify the wheel to suit your requirements.This is what Volsec did.An internal audit procedure is just an internal audit procedure.In any case you copy from others.Can Securico stand up and say during the development of their system they copied nothing,even from the internet?

    • Vana Chisale. Heya muri mbavha. I will make sure you lose all your important clients. I am circulating this report to your key clients mamama. Mbavha dzevanhu.

    • Was the document copyright registered? If not, then there is no way Securico can claim it to be theirs. The lady akangoita zvaakamboita kuSecurico, copying from somewhere and tweaking the manual to suit Securico requirements. Dai akaudza Magistrate izvozvo Securico iite loose its certification as well because both companies used ‘stolen’ manuals.

  8. yu obviously know nothing about quality management systems. they are not stolen, copied or come as a template from the internet. your contribution shows that you have a criminal and lazy mind

  9. As a systems professional I find it very difficult to believe that SAZ as a registration body could issue out a certificate from the office without carrying out an on site compliance audit. There are stages that need to be followed before a registration body like SAZ, SABS, DNV, Lloyds among others issue out ISO 9001 or ISO14001 certificates. I will be the last to believe that SAZ did this as it violates ISO guidelines on registration. Talk of a break in and theft of intellectual property – YES. Upon resignation, ex-employees normally carry with them copies of previous employer’s documents on hard or soft copy which they use to develop systems elsewhere with modifications. You will find that SECURICO did the same when they developed their ISO 9000 system. This has been the practice since inception of BS 5750 certification by Zimbabwean organizations since 1994.

  10. Volsec is just being bullied by this fake entrepreneur called Divine who uses intimidatory cheap zanuish tactics to get business. We in security industry knows for sure tht Volsec yakapenga and has brought fresh ideas and this Securico lady is tired, jealous and afraid of competition from another indegineous firm, l admire this Chisale fellow , he is so cool, collected and reclusive.pamper ne Volsec !!

  11. these are rival companies . So many of Volsec staff are fomer Securico . So they go down seas trying to pull each other down . Did Securico have a trademark on their document ? Why many of their top mgt or skilled employeez are jumping to other companies ?

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