The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has said it is pursuing reports of laboratories which are issuing fake COVID-19 test results upon being bribed by individuals.
The development follows media reports in the past week which unearthed irregularities at medical centres in Harare where fake results are alleged to be issued. .
In a statement to Grazers News on Tuesday (January 26), ZACC spokesperson, John Makamure, said a crack team had been deployed to investigate the scam.
“Following recent press reports of a scam involving the issuance of fake Covid-19 test results by a local private laboratory testing centre, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has received several reports implicating other testing centres,” he said.
Media reports last week indicated that some members of staff at a private laboratory, Klosad Clinical Diagnostics Lab in Harare’s Avondale suburb, was issuing out certificates with fake Covid-19 results to international travellers without going through the testing process.
The reports said the offenders were charging US$45 to produce the fraudulent certificates to international travellers.
ZACC is concerned that the fake certificates scam might derail government’s efforts to curb the virus whose new strain into the new year has seen a steep spike in the local caseload and deaths.
“A ZACC crack team has been put in place to probe these reports in order to swiftly bring the culprits to book. The commission would like to strongly warn the perpetrators of this corrupt practice that the long arm of the law will descend heavily on them,” he said.
The ZACC spokesperson also indicated that there was a related matter of widespread theft of personal protective equipment from government health institutions that was reportedly being sold on the black market.
Said Makamure: “The commission is closing in on the culprits who are soon going to be arraigned before the courts of law.”
Grazers News is the Information for Development (IDT) news blog