BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
TWO Harare men who allegedly manufactured fake COVID-19 certificates appeared in court yesterday and were remanded in custody by Harare magistrate Barbara Mateko.
They are facing fraud and forgery charges.
The accused Grant Mangwiro (36) and Kufakunaani Mufundikwa (age not given) were trapped by detectives who posed as potential clients.
Allegations are that on January 29 this year, detectives received information that the duo was issuing fake COVID-19 certificates at Afgate House at the corner of Simon Muzenda Street and George Silinduka Avenue, Harare.
The detectives used one of their colleagues to pose as a client and approached the duo who charged him US$30 to process the certificates and they told the undercover detective that they had forgotten the date stamps in Chitungwiza and would bring it later.
It is alleged that the undercover detective gave the two accused persons US$20 and promised to pay the balance on collection. The accused persons allegedly agreed and printed the negative results on a fake COVID-19 certificate.
The parties agreed to meet at the Mbudzi Roundabout to complete the transaction after the certificate had been stamped.
It is alleged that at around 3pm, the accused persons handed over the signed fake COVID-19 certificate which they claimed had originated from Genau Laboratory along Baines Avenue, leading to their arrest.
The accused led the detectives to the recovery of fake date stamps purportedly sourced from Klosad Laboratories, Genau Laboratory, Lancet Laboratory, Multitech Diagnostic Services, Zimbabwe Republic Police Public Relations Office, Zimbabwean Embassy in Windhoek, Steward Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Registrar of Companies and Mutare Polytechnic.