POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested three people for issuing fake Covid-19 certificates to media personnel who wanted to cover a football match at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.
Sports journalist associations have condemned the issuing of fake certificates to the media and urged their members not to engage in such illegal acts.
The three suspects were arrested at the Chicken Inn and Bulawayo Chiefs match that ended 2 nil in favour of the Gamecocks.
In a tweet, Police warned the public in forging Covid-19 certificates.
“The police warn members of the public that are involved in forgery of Covid-19 certificates that they risk arrest. Police in Bulawayo arrested three suspects for issuing fake Covid-19 certificates to media personnel who wanted to cover a football match at Barbourfields Stadium on 05/6/21. Investigations are underway,” posted the police.
Sports Journalists Association (SPOJA) secretary-general for the Southern Region, Nash Mkokwayarira said there were people testing journalists at Barbourfields Stadium in full view of the Premier Soccer League officials on Saturday.
“It is proper that if we want to go and test, we must look for organisations that are well known so that we won’t be found wanting. This is to avoid the spread of the Covid-19. It is always going to be difficult to know and assume that the tests were fake as these people were making people pay for the tests and this was in full view of PSL officials,” said Mkokwayarira.
Sports Writers Association of Zimbabwe (SWAZ) secretary general Mehluli Sibanda said they commend the police for bringing the culprits to book.
“It’s a concern because as an association we accepted the recommendations of the PSL medical committee that requires everyone who attends a football match to have a valid Covid-19 test. We don’t understand why someone would want to buy a fake certificate, because you are putting the life of players, coaches and fellow journalists at risk. We believe journalists must follow the laid down guidelines by the PSL. We condemn such acts and commend the police for arresting these culprits,” said Sibanda.