Word on the street is that if you are an idiot and want to save US$20 on your next COVID-19 test then Klosad Clinical Diagnostics Lab is the place to go to. The laboratory has been linked to disgraced former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo who is said to be the owner. The lab is said to be issuing COVID-19 certificates to would-be international travellers at a cheaper cost compared to other labs. They are achieving this feat by simply issuing certificates without bothering to test patients.

The scam was revealed by the Sunday Mail crew who posed as customers. They then proceeded to pay on two separate occassions and obtained fake negative COVID-19 certificates even though they hadn’t been tested. The scandal is said to be the work of a well-oiled syndicate that includes front desk staff, security guards and an individual at the centre named as Mr Nyamugama.

An unsuspecting Mr Nyamugama asked the crew to return in a couple of days as he wanted to organise with his workmates first. The crew exchanged phone numbers with Mr Nyamugama who communicated regularly via Whats App, using his number 077 5 438 768.

On Monday, January 11, 2021, the certificates were produced at US$45 each. The crew paid US$45 for one certificate (which was handed over immediately) and another $4 500 for the second document via EcoCash to the number 077 5 438 768 using the exchange rate of US$1 to $100.

This second certificate was collected on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. The certificates were signed off by two different people, one by a C. Guzha and the other by a T. Tenesi while B. Nyakuedzwa approved both certificates, indicating that the syndicate is tightly-knit and involves a wide network.

Sunday Mail on the issue

The crew reported the matter to the police. A police spokesperson has promised that the police will investigate. Such practices damage the validity of locally produced certificates as other countries will now insist on tests to those arriving in as they cannot trust what’s on foreign issued certificates.