The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a 22-year-old man of Serenje district to eight months imprisonment with hard labour for forging a school certificate.

Josephat Mpande, who was among the youths who were recently recruited by the police service, was charged with forgery and uttering a false document and had pleaded guilty to the charge.

It was alleged that on April 5, 2018, in Serenje, Mpande allegedly forged an Examinations Council of Zambia school certificate bearing the names of Josephat Mpande.

And in count two, it was alleged that on September 11, 2018, in Lusaka, Mpande uttered a false ECZ school certificate bearing the names Josephat Mpande to a police officer at Geoffrey Mukuma Training School, commonly known as Sondela.

The matter came up yesterday before magistrate Mwandu Sakala for facts and sentencing.

Facts are that on October 10, David Mubelenga, a training officer at Sondela was screening documents for police recruits and while scrutinising the documents, it was discovered that Mpande had forged a Grade 12 certificate.

The alleged forged Grade 12 certificate was from Ibolela Secondary School bearing examination number 1071840003 and indicated that Mpande completed in 2017.

The forged Grade 12 certificate was then submitted to ECZ for further investigations.

“ECZ confirmed that Mpande’s Grade 12 certificate was forged and that it was not issued by the commission. The matter was reported to police,” read the facts.

In mitigation, Mpande asked the court for forgiveness saying he would do his best to re-write his Grade 12 so that he could have a correct certificate.

And in her ruling, magistrate Sakala said Mpande deserved leniency because he had pleaded guilty and had therefore not wasted the court’s time.

She however sentenced him to eight months in the first count and seven months in the second count, to run concurrently.

“In the first count, I sentence you to eight months imprisonment with hard labour and seven months imprisonment with hard labour in count two,” ruled magistrate Sakala.