VID of­fi­cer is­sues 30 il­le­gal li­cences

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/national News - Leonard Ncube

PO­LICE have ar­rested a gen­eral hand at the Ve­hi­cle In­spec­tion De­part­ment (VID) Vic­to­ria Falls af­ter he al­legedly is­sued coun­ter­feit cer­tifi­cates of com­pe­tence to 30 driv­ers whom he charged $300 each.

Maxwell Mut­sikiwa, 40, was ar­rested af­ter some of the forged cer­tifi­cates, which are is­sued while one awaits his or her driver’s li­cence to be pro­cessed, were re­cov­ered in Gweru and Zvisha­vane in the Mid­lands Prov­ince, rais­ing fears sev­eral driv­ers could be us­ing fake doc­u­ments.

Mut­sikiwa, al­legedly stole an RTLD 4 Book with 100 pages of cer­tifi­cate of com­pe­tency and is­sued out 30 of them, with only five be­ing re­cov­ered.

He was charged with theft and forgery when he ap­peared be­fore Vic­to­ria Falls mag­is­trate Ms Ran­gari­rai Gakanje yes­ter­day.

He pleaded not guilty to both crimes.

The court de­nied Mut­sikiwa bail as he was con­sid­ered a flight risk as he has pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

The court also said he might in­flu­ence wit­nesses since the ma­jor­ity of the coun­ter­feit doc­u­ments were not re­cov­ered.

“In my as­sess­ment, I find that ac­cused per­son’s re­lease will in­deed be prej­u­di­cial in the proper ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice.

“His like­li­hood of in­ter­fer­ence is high as the in­ves­ti­ga­tions are still in progress and ac­cord­ing to the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer, the ac­cused is be­ing sought by mem­bers of the pub­lic as he is fail­ing to pay.

‘‘As a re­sult, like­li­hood of ab­scond­ing is high. I’m of the view that time should be given to the po­lice to wind up in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“Fur­ther­more, this ap­pears a se­ri­ous of­fence with its ef­fects putting the na­tion as a whole at risk. Bail is there­fore de­nied,” said Ms Gakanje. Trial will start on Au­gust 12. Prose­cu­tor Mr Takunda Ndovorwi said the of­fences were com­mit­ted be­tween Jan­uary 31, 2016 and July 27.

“The ac­cused took a RTLD 4 Book 9 Cer­tifi­cate of Com­pe­tency with se­rial num­bers 120601-120700 DG which was in the law­ful cus­tody of Mr Al­bert Chi­naka and in­tend­ing to de­prive the Min­istry of Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural Devel­op­ment.

“He is­sued forged cer­tifi­cates of com­pe­tence to sev­eral peo­ple pur­port­ing to be a VID of­fi­cer,” said Mr Ndovorwi.

The court was told that forged cer­tifi­cates is­sued to Kudza­ishe Kup­fu­rira, Owen Gib­son, Ton­derai Chikande, Phanuel Banda and Esh­win Mukudu were re­cov­ered.

The stolen 100-page book was re­cov­ered with 30 pages miss­ing and in­ves­ti­ga­tions showed that the miss­ing pages were not in the VID sys­tem.

Mut­sikiwa isn’t new to court af­ter he was in 2012 con­victed for caus­ing a fire that burnt a sec­tion of the VID Gweru de­pot where he was then sta­tioned, dam­ag­ing three ve­hi­cles in the process.

At that time he was sen­tenced to six months in jail which were wholly sus­pended on con­di­tion he paid $875 com­pen­sa­tion. — @ncubeleon

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