By JOSSY CHAIMA
AN ADMINISTRATIVE Officer at Kamfinsa School of Public Order Maintenance (SPOM) has told a Kitwe magistrate’s court that a trainee constable had confessed to him that he had a forged Grade 12 school certificate.
Mac Lazarus Phiri told the court that he was assigned to collect certificates from recruits on September 10 last year which he submitted to the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) for verification.
He narrated that on February 18 this year, the certificates returned but 21 copies were missing.
Mr Phiri was giving evidence in a case involving Vincent Masole, who is alleged to have forged a Grade 12 school certificate purporting to show that it was duly issued by ECZ when in fact not.
In count two, Masole is alleged to have fraudulently uttered a false document namely Grade 12 school certificate purporting to show that it was genuine when in fact not.
Mr Phiri said on February 21 he was instructed to collect new copies from the 21 recruits and 20 submitted but Masole was out of school then with five days on permission. He said when Masole returned he told him to submit his certificate but he did not.
Mr Phiri said this prompted him to pursue Masole, who confessed having forged the certificate, saying he, in fact, did not sit for grade 12 examinations due to financial problems.
At this stage, the witness said, Masole told him he needed help to get out of that predicament. But Mr Phiri immediately reported the issue to the training officer and Masole was taken to Kitwe Central Police Station for further investigations.
Meanwhile, Senior Resident Magistrate Oswald Mwansa Chibalo advised Masole to seek legal representation as he was failing to defend himself during cross examination.
Mr Chibalo asked the officer why the 20 officers whose certificates had not been returned by ECZ were still undergoing training using tax payers’ money.