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Harare man caught using forged diplomas for studies in Cyprus

Michael Mashiri

An Omni Contact employee, who went to Cyprus to study for a diploma using a fake Advanced Level certificate, has been arraigned before the court.

Tafadzwa Nyatondo, 28, of Mainway Meadows, appeared before magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts on fraud allegations.

The State, through prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti, alleges that on June 2022, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission investigated a case where Nyatondo’s accomplice, Molyn Mugodi, who is already on remand was arrested, her printer and a Central Processing Unit, were confiscated and referred to ZRP Cyber Forensic laboratory for examination and extraction of certificates which Mugodi was forging.

After the analysis by the ZRP cyber forensic experts, several Zimsec Ordinary Level, Advanced Level and tertiary institutions certificates, were retrieved from Mugodi’s CPU.

The retrieved certificates were allegedly sent for authentication to Zimsec and tertiary institutions.

From the certificates that were sent to Zimsec for authentication, Nyatondo’s Advanced Level certificate was confirmed to have been forged.

The investigations that were done, established that around 2020, Nyatondo, who wanted to secure a place to study towards a Diploma in Business Administration in Cyprus, approached his accomplice Admire Manyemba, who is an agent of International Institutions facilitating the processing of applications for local students who intend to study abroad and submitted his application.

The State alleges that, Nyatondo's highest qualification at that moment was Ordinary Level and he realised that the prospects of him finding a place to study in Cyprus were very slim which led him to the forging a Zimsec Advanced Level certificate to enhance his prospects.

It was established that Manyemba told Nyatondo to pay US$350 to him to facilitate the creation of a fake ZIMSEC Advanced Level certificate in his name.

Manyemba subsequently approached Mugodi and paid her US$150 to create a fake Advanced Level certificate in Nyatondo’s name.

After receiving the US$150 from Manyemba, Mugodi without the authority from Zimsec, created a fake Zimsec Advanced Level certificate in the name of Nyatondo.

The papers claimed that he had sat for the Zimsec November 2020 Advanced Level examinations using centre number 010602 and candidate number 2217 and had passed Accounting, Business Studies and Economics with B, C and B grades respectively.

It was also established that after obtaining the forged Zimsec Advanced Level certificate from Mugodi, Nyatondo, with the help of Manyemba, allegedly lied in the application for study in Cyprus that he had passed A Level.

This led him to successfully secure a place at Cyprus International University to study towards a Diploma in Business Administration.

It is alleged that in January, 2021, Nyatondo left Zimbabwe to begin his studies in Cyprus.

The State alleges that he completed his studies in Cyprus in September 2022 and returned home.

On the day when Nyatondo was arrested, a fake Zimsec Advanced Level certificate created by Mugodi was recovered from Nyatondo.

The State alleges that Nyatondo and his accomplice had no authority from Zimsec to create a certificate which claimed to have been created by Zimsec.

As a result of the forgery and lies by Nyatondo and his accomplice, Zimsec lost its good administration as use of fake certificates tarnishes the education system of the country and the ability of Zimsec to administer examinations in the country.

Nyatondo was ordered to deposit US$100 and will appear November 9 for his routine remand.

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