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Court at standstill as O Levels cheat, mum wail after jail sentence

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By Court Reporter

A 26 year old Harare woman has been jailed 15 months after she was convicted of forging Ordinary Level results to earn a place as a student nurse at Parirenyatwa Hospital.

Esther Kalenga will, however, spent 10 months effective in prison after magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini slashed five months of her sentence on conditions.

Kalenga, a mother of two, brought business to a standstill soon after her sentence was handed.

She protested against custodial sentence pleading with the magistrate to be lenient with her and wailed together with her mother who was in the gallery.

Their screams pierced through the court building attracting the attention of people who were at Rotten Row magistrate’s court on Thursday.

However Vhitorini said it was unfortunate that he could not review his judgement.

The magistrate said a short custodial sentence will be a lesson to would be offenders since such offences were on the rise.

Kalenga pleaded guilty to the charges saying she committed the offence in order to raise her two children.

Prosecuting, Netsai Mushayabasa told the court that Kalenga committed the offence in 2016 after Parirenyatwa Hospital advertised that it wanted trainee nurses.

Kalenga responded to the advert and submitted a fake Ordinary Level certificate bearing seven passes.

The requirements were five Ordinary level passes with a Grade C or better and candidates were also required to have a pass in English and at least one Science subject.

The hospital acted on Kalenga’s misrepresentation and enrolled her as a trainee nurse.

However, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission got wind of the scam and tracked Kalenga.

Court heard the certificate was recovered and was sent to Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) were it was confirmed to be fake.

The candidate number belonged to another male candidate who did not even pass a single subject.

Kalenga was subsequently arrested.