Sunday 7 August 2022


A trainee fire fighter with the Bulawayo City Council is in trouble with the local authority and police for forging medical papers claiming he had contracted Covid-19 and was in isolation therefore absconding from work.

Fikile Sibanda, will now have part of his salary docked after it was discovered that he had forged documents from Mpilo Central Hospital.

He will also face the full wrath of the law after the local authority’s audit department recommended that he be reported to the police.

According to a council confidential report, Sibanda absconded from work from 17 August to 27 October 2021 and submitted non-authentic medical records and certificates, stating he had contracted Covid-19 to justify his absenteeism.

However, investigations by the local authority revealed that Sibanda was not attended to by staff at Mpilo Central Hospital for a Covid-19 test, related pneumonia and headache ailment treatment.

It was also discovered that there was no record of a medical doctor stated to have signed the medical certificates and additionally the official stamp used on Sibanda’s hospital book was not official.

“Fikile Sibanda is not on record as having visited Mpilo Central Hospital between the period of 18 August 2021 and 30 October 2021, it was revealed that one Fikile Sibanda last visited the hospital on 5 January 2015.

Additionally, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya, Mpilo Central acting chief executive officer, submitted that there was no Fikile Sibanda in their records from 23 August to 30 October.

“Further enquiry with hospital personnel at both main casualty and outpatients accounts departments revealed that the hospital book submitted to the City of Bulawayo by Fikile Sibanda was not stamped by them as is the procedure and the main casualty stamp used was not properly used as that stamp is only used for prescriptions and other referrals, of which this was not the case,” reads the council report.

It was further discovered that the terms used in Sibanda’s “hospital book” were not related to any medical terms or procedures.

“We were also informed by a nurse at the outdoor testing point (at Mpilo Hospital) that the hospital book did not state the patient’s allocated number for Covid-19 positive results and that the word positive was not written in red ink as in the norm and practice.

We were further informed that some of the language like ‘hot body’ used by the writer is alien to the medical profession.

Additionally, Prof Ngwenya submitted that there was no Innocent Ngwenya employed at their hospital as a medical doctor between the period of 24 August and 30 October,” reads the report.

It was further discovered that there were anomalies with the medical certificates that had been filled such that there were contradicting themselves, thereby raising the initial suspicions against Sibanda.

“Audit examined the writer’s handwriting patterns in all the five documents and found that all of them may have been written on the same date as it was noticed that the writing pattern was changing from writing words in full to shorthand and from being clear to unclear suggesting the person who was writing was getting tired or fatigued by repeatedly writing some words.

“Based on the findings, it is likely that although the five certificates are dated differently, they were written and stamped in one day by the same writer one after the other under instruction from Fikile Sibanda.

Therefore, Fikile Sibanda connived with an unknown person to write and stamp medical certificates to avoid sanctions from his employer,” reads the report.

In Sibanda’s submissions before the internal audit instead, he claimed he was being targeted in a bid to embarrass an unnamed senior council official who helped him secure the position as a trainee fire fighter.

“Fikile Sibanda also mentioned that he has been subjected to unnecessary punishments by personnel from his section and because of that he felt it was not prudent for him to report for duty.

He stated that he was being treated unfairly by senior personnel at his section as they always threatened him embarrassing the person who helped him secure the position of trainee firefighter.

“On being asked to provide proof that he indeed visited Mpilo Central Hospital, he promised to bring the documents the day after the interview but never did so despite a number of telephone reminders and promises to do so until the day of issue of this report,” reads the report.

Sibanda’s supervisor, the acting senior divisional officer, Mr Noel Siziba reported that the trainee firefighter was previously cautioned for coming to work drunk or smoking illicit drugs during working hours.  Sunday News


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