A 33-YEAR-OLD prison officer, who worked as a nurse for five years using a bogus certificate, was yesterday slapped with a five-month jail term after she was convicted of fraud.
Wiriranayi Hlangabeza will, however, not do time behind bars after provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe suspended three months on condition of good behaviour and the remaining two months on condition she paid a $200 fine.
Hlangabeza pleaded guilty to obtaining a fake practicing certificate in connivance with a senior member of the Nurses Council of Zimbabwe, which she later used to secure employment within the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS).
According to the State, Hlangabeza, who resides at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, trained as a nurse at Chitungwiza Central Hospital and completed her course in 2009, but she failed to make the pass grades.
During the course of her training, the court heard, she became friends with one Patrick Kaseke, who was in his third year.
In 2011, Hlangabeza was then recruited as a member of ZPCS, where she underwent six months’ training and upon completion, she was deployed at Chikurubi Farm Prison.
Kaseke, who is still at large, knew Hlangabeza had failed her final examinations at Chitungwiza Central Hospital, but approached her and told her he could help her get a practicing certificate so as to enable her to be upgraded by ZPCS.
The court heard Kaseke then connived with John Mukudo, an employee of the Nurses Council of Zimbabwe, who fraudulently manufactured a practicing certificate in Hlangabeza’s name.
Armed with the fake certificate, Hlangabeza is said to have applied for promotion from general duties to a specialist section and acting upon the fake certificate, the ZPCS human resources department forwarded the application to the Commissioner-General, who then approved it.