A Lusaka widow, Friday, narrated before court how her husband, a police officer, forged a GCE certificate and a passport for her after insistent refusal to take her back to school despite promising to do so when they got married.
This is a case in which Maureen Hanengeta, 39, has been dragged to court for forgery, uttering false documents and obtaining pecuniary advantage by false pretences.
In the first count, the accused is charged with forgery contrary to section 347 and 342 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence are that Hanengeta, on December 6, 2013 in Lusaka, with intent to defraud or deceive, forged an Examinations Council of Zambia joint examination for school certificate and G.C.E statement of results number 164904 by purporting to show that it was genuinely prepared and issued by the examinations body when in fact not.
In the second count, the accused is charged with uttering false documents contrary to section 352 of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Details of the offence are that Hanengeta, on December 6, 2013 in Lusaka, knowingly and fraudulently uttered an Examination Council of Zambia joint examination for school certificate and G.C.E statement of results number 164904 to the Human Resource Officer at the Zambia Police headquarters.
In the last count, the accused is charged with obtaining pecuniary advantage by false pretences contrary to section 309(a) of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that on unknown dates but between December 6, 2013 and September 21, 2018 in Lusaka, the accused, by means of false pretences, dishonestly obtained for herself a pecuniary advantage of K191,988.26 from the government of the Republic of Zambia, having been given an opportunity to earn remuneration or employment in the Zambia Police Service.
When the matter came up before Principal Resident Magistrate Mwaka Mikalile for defence, Friday, the accused narrated how her late husband married two other women during the subsistence of their marriage and made her go through hard times in his home.
“When I got married to my late husband, we agreed that after marrying me, he would take me back to school. At the beginning of the marriage, everything was okay and he would provide our basic needs, but after some time, he married another lady who was working for Zambia Sugar and life became difficult because of her. My husband was then transferred to Serenje from Mazabuka and he moved with the same woman. After some time, my husband came back. I adhered to advice from people that I should keep the marriage. That woman then started differing with my husband because she was not ready to live in a polygamous home,” Hanengeta narrated.
She explained that her husband later married another woman in Chisamba, a fellow police officer, with whom he had a child, leading to more problems as all his money was going to her.
“I then questioned my husband that ‘you told me that you would take care of and the only reason why you keep treating me like this is because I am not working, the lady in Mazabuka was working and the lady in Chisamba is also working’. As I stand here, I have no parents and no siblings, I was brought up by my grandmother who also passed on. We continued differing with my husband until it reached a point where he asked for my NRC. He went with my NRC for three days and he brought me an envelope and threw it on my laps. When I opened it, I found a slip, I was happy your honour because I thought my husband had created a way for me. I asked him to take me to college but he refused, he took me to town and after some time, he gave me a passport. He then told me that instead of school, he would show me how to do cross border trading,” Hanengeta added.
She explained that shortly after returning from Botswana where he had gone for work, and she had accompanied him so that he could show her how to do business, he fell ill in October 2009 until 2010 when he was diagnosed with meningitis.
“On 6th January, 2011, he died, and his relatives got everything that he left for me and the children, I had nothing to do, the youngest child was born with a condition and to date, the child is still with a condition your honour. I had nowhere to look and that is how I remembered that my husband left a slip for me. I got it and took it to the place where my husband was working so that I could get a job, even as a cleaner so that I could look after my children. When I went there, the personnel officer told me that they had no posts and told me that I needed to get paid, so in December 2013 is when I was called and I started work as an office orderly,” Hanengeta said.
She then said in September 2018, she was questioned over the said results and narrated to her employer how she obtained them, after which she was asked to leave employment and was sent home.
The court has since set April 30, 2020 for judgement in the matter.