Lawyer appears in court for forging practicing papers

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By Staff Reporter

A legal assistant at Kojokoto Legal Practitioners has landed in the dock after he fraudulently obtained a certificate of conversion to practice locally following his graduation with a law degree in Kenya.

Elijah Mbiriri (30) from Prospect, Waterfalls appeared before Harare magistrate Marewanazvo facing fraud charges.

He was released on free bail and will be back in court on December 14 for his routine remand.

The complainant is the State represented by Joe Zimba who is the Finance and administration manager for Council for Legal Education.

According to the State, in 2017, the accused graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya, with a Bachelor of Laws degree.

For him to practise law in Zimbabwe, his legal qualification had to be designated and he had to attain a certificate of Conversions with the Council for Legal Education (CLE).

The state alleges that sometime in 2018 the accused enrolled with CLE so as to write eight conversion examinations.

In June 2020 the accused set for one module Civil Procedure and he passed it.

Mbiriri went on to register for four modules in June 2021 including Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Statutes and Ethics.

He passed Ethics only and failed the other three modules.

“Having written only five modules out of the required eight modules, Huggins Duri who is still at large went on to give instructions through email to Fidelity Printers and Refiners to print a certificate of completion for the accused,” said prosecutors.

The certificate was allegedly processed and acting in common purpose Duri went on to collect the printed certificate at Fidelity Printers and Refiners and gave it to Mbiriri who accepted the certificate of completion though he knew very well that he had sat for only five modules out of the required eight and of the five modules he had wrote only two modules were passed.

The State alleges that Mbiriri’s actions caused a financial prejudice of US$ 420 and prejudice to the reputation and good administration of the Council for Legal Education.