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Fake degree holder steals US$10 000, buys iPhone 11

THE long arm of the law finally caught up with a Rusape con-artist who used fake academic certificates to secure employment locally and in South Africa.

Luck ran out for Mazvita Ruwambara (27), alias Paul Leon Mukuruva of Vengere in Rusape, after alert detectives who raided his residence seeking to arrest him for stealing US$10 000 from his aunt stumbled upon the fake certificates.

Ruwambara was this week convicted on his own guilty plea for theft and possessing articles for criminal use when he appeared before magistrate, Ms Rufaro Mangwiro.

On the theft charge, Ms Mangwiro sentenced Ruwambara to four years in jail before suspending one year on condition of good behaviour. Two years were further suspended on condition that he restitutes his aunt, Mrs Phillipa Sibanda US$6, 831.

He will serve an effective one year sentence.

When asked by Ms Mangwiro why he had faked the certificates, Ruwambara said he never used them in Zimbabwe, but in South Africa.

“Your Worship, I used these fake certificates when I was in South Africa. I used them to secure employment there. I never used them here in Zimbabwe,” he told the court.

For possessing articles for criminal use, Ms Mangwiro sentenced Ruwambara to three months imprisonment, which were wholly suspended for the next five years.

State prosecutor, Mr Marlon Makamba, said Ruwambara’s fake ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level certificates stated Premier High School as the school where he did his studies.

He also had a fake Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Finance from the National University of Science and Technology.

Ruwambara used the name Paul Leon Mukuruva on the fake academic certificates.

On January 8, detectives from CID Rusape went to search Ruwambara’s residence while investigating a theft case where he was arrested for stealing US$10 000 from his aunt while she was taking a bath.

“During the course of the search, detectives discovered that Ruwambara was in possession of fake academic certificates that he used to commit fraud,” said Mr Makamba.

The complainant in the theft case is Phillipa Sibanda of Borrowdale, Harare who had accompanied Ruwambara and her mother, Roselene Ruwambara, to their Vengere home.

Sibanda is a sister to Ruwambara’s mother.

“In the morning of January 6, Sibanda left her bedroom unlocked while she was taking a bath. Ruwambara took advantage and gained entry into the room. He opened Sibanda’s handbag and stole US$10 000.

“Ruwambara used the money to buy an I-Phone 11 valued at US$300 from Tawanda Mawuye. Sibanda later discovered the offence and made a police report,” said Mr Makamba.

Investigations led to Ruwambara’s arrest and the recovery of US$3 169 and the phone he had bought from proceeds of theft. 🔺

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Manica Post
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