Singer Ivy Kombo claims victimisation in fraud trial

By Staff Reporter

Gospel musician Ivy Kombo, on trial for fraudulently acquiring a conversion certificate to practise as a lawyer in Zimbabwe, claims she is being victimised for alleged ineptitude by authorities who issued her with the document.

Kombo is being tried with co-accused and husband Admire Kasi.

Prosecutors claim the couple acquired conversion certificates without writing the mandatory examinations or without exemption.

The two, represented by Admire Rubaya and Everson Chatambudza, denied the allegations.

Kombo stated it was not her responsibility to authenticate a document.

She said she received the certificate from the Council for Legal Education, signed by a judge, Justice Sylvia Chirau.

Kombo said she had no knowledge it was a product of fraud since she had gone through all the procedures to obtain what she believed to be a legitimate document.

She said it was not in her place to investigate such as she obtained her certificate from a reputable institution.

Allegations are that the couple approached one Shorai Tafadzwa Mupunga, a CLE official to assist them to register and write the conversion examinations.

Claims are that sometime last year, Mupunga approached Duri, who indicated she was able to facilitate the issuance of the conversion certificates, without writing the conversion examinations, if the couple paid US$1,100.

The two allegedly paid the money through Mupunga, who allegedly relayed it to Duri.

It is alleged Duri then processed the certificates which certified that the couple had written and passed eight conversion subjects.

On Tuesday, Mupunga, who acted as a state witness, exonerated the singer from any wrongdoing, telling the court she did everything above board, resulting in her acquiring the document.

Mupunga said names of those exempted are compiled by a receptionist, supported by an orderly and sent for printing without checking whether individuals would have sat for the examination.

During cross-examination, Mupunga confirmed the anomaly could not be faulted on Kombo.

She said when she met Kombo, they never touched any subject relating to payment or acquiring the document through fraudulent means.

Mupunga said they merely shared ideas on how Kombo could legally write the examinations.

She said there was nothing to indicate any misrepresentation.

In her testimony, Mupunga made a lot of conflicting statements, prompting Kombo’s lawyers to tell the court it would be improper to rely on evidence from a “self-confessed liar who escaped from the Council for Legal Education and currently on suspension at the Ministry of Justice after damning allegations against her professional conduct.”

This is after Mupunga somersaulted before the court, giving new statements which contradicted her statement she gave to ZACC investigators.

She initially said she received and gave Duri US$1,100 for him to facilitate the acquisition of fraudulent certificates before changing the figure to US$2,200.

Mupunga had said she met with Duri twice, giving her the money and when she collected the certificates before changing.

She later said they met three times and that on the third time, she was giving him the other US$1,100.

The trial will continue this Wednesday.

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