Hundreds of Batswana students who have passed their Cambridge examinations are being crowded out of jobs and tertiary institutions by fraudsters who are forging Cambridge certificates to gain jobs or university entrance, The Sunday Standard can reveal.
The Botswana Police Service this week uncovered six new cases of student nurses who forged Cambridge certificates to gain entry into the Francistown Institute of Health Sciences. These are, however, believed to be the tip of an iceberg and the Botswana Police Service (BPS) has issued a warning to tertiary institutions throughout the country.
BPS Public relations officer, Senior Superintendent Christopher Mbulawa, on Friday issued a statement to the effect that “the Botswana Police would like to warn the general public, academic institutions, and the employment sector about false academic certificates that are circulating in the country.”
Mbulawa said this followed “a case in which six students at the Francistown Institute of Health Sciences were arrested for allegedly uttering false academic certificates to fulfill admission requirements. All the students are holders of Zimbabwean O’ level or Cambridge certificates obtained from different colleges and in different years in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, which are suspected to be false. Five of the students were enrolled in July and August this year while the sixth one was admitted in 2006.
Mbulawa said police investigations revealed that the certificates “could have found their way to other institutes of Health Sciences such as Molepolole and Gaborone. However, preliminary investigations carried out by Botswana Police and the Zimbabwe Examination Council revealed that the certificates do not have features of genuine ones.” Police investigations are still ongoing.
Mbulawa further confirmed to The Sunday Standard that they have also handled cases of forged Cambridge certificates from local secondary schools. Forged certificates from local secondary schools currently in circulation are reported to be in the hundreds.
The situation is not helped by the crisis of expatriates who are cheating their way into local jobs using forged certificates. Sunday Standard last year carried an expose of an Asia fake certificate ring which has helped a number of Asians gain employment in Botswana.