Groundsman Forges Magistrates Signatures, Solemnises Marriages

Former Harare Magistrate, Olivia Mariga, whose signature is alleged to have been forged by a groundsman, Edmond Mboko, has testified that she did not sign the marriage certificate at the centre of the argument.

Mboko is accused of solemnising marriages and forging two magistrates’ signatures.

Mariga denies ever signing the marriage certificates of Karen Kakore and Egomole Callistus Okechukwu.

She, however, admits the signature on the certificates is similar to hers.

Defence lawyer, Rekai Maposa quizzed Mariga whether she still remembers all couples she solemnised in 2006 to which she replied no.

Mariga told the court that the register of all couples solemnised are regularly checked by magistrates after a week or a month to check errors and forgery.

Maposa then asked her why she did not recognise the forged marriage certificate if she is not the one who signed it.

Sources close to the events say the marriage ceremony was conducted at 10 o’clock in the morning inside the court room.

There are also pictures that show Mboko solemnising couples in court.

Maposa questioned the court how a groundsman could conduct a marriage ceremony in court in broad daylight and go unnoticed.

As the state closed its case the defence lawyer successfully filed an application to call in handwriting experts for verification.

Magistrate Witness Mtetwa remanded the matter to Tuesday the 26th of May for continuation of trial