WHEN a Gokwe man recently stumbled upon his own death certificate it led to police reports, arrest, conviction and fining of his father who had made the false death report in 2019 to claim a funeral benefit from Ecosure Funeral Cover.
Wellington Mtendeleki of Mashove Village under Chief Njelele was startled when he found a document dropped by his 48-year-old father Dumisani Mtendeleki was his own death certificate.
The father was last week convicted on his own plea of guilt by Gokwe magistrate Mr Musaiwona Shotgame of contravening the provisions of the Birth and Deaths Registration Act for registering the death of a living person and was fined $10 000.
In mitigation, he said that he faked the death and fraudulently claimed the funeral benefit in order to get money to feed his hungry family.
Appearing for the State, Ms Gertrude Shoko told the court that in 2019, Mtendeleki asked his son for his ID card so he could get him a job at Cottco Nemangwe. But Mtendeleki took the ID to Gokwe Registrar’s Office where he lied that his son had died.
When a death is reported and a death certificate sought the next of kin has to hand in the national ID card of the dead person.
Two years later, in October 2021, Wellington requested the return of his national identity card but to no avail. Wellington later stumbled upon a death certificate in his name, which had been dropped by his father.