Andrew Mpumalanga, 52, also allegedly had in his possession business cards identifying himself as a gynaecologist.

Zimbo used false documents to work as a child psychologist in Ireland

A ZIMBABWEAN who used false documents to secure employment as a child psychologist in Ireland and “live a fake life” has been jailed for four years. Nikiwe Dube (41) pleaded guilty to four charges of using a false instrument on dates between November 2019 and February 2022, including a psychological transcript with a false garda stamp, a false identification badge purportedly from the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and a fake medical certificate.

He further pleaded guilty to two counts of deception in that he dishonestly induced TTM Healthcare to put him on their books of employment, causing a loss, on a date between August 15 2021 and September 9 2021 and that he did dishonestly induce the HSE to give him an interview towards employment on August 18 2022.

Dube used false documents to secure employment as a child psychologist in the public and private healthcare sectors when he didn’t have the required academic qualifications, the court heard. Imposing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last week, Judge Elva Duffy said Dube had put himself “out there” as a medically-trained professional and was working with children and adolescents who were clearly in a very vulnerable position because they had come looking for help.

She said Dube knew what he was doing and described it as “a complex fraud”. She said he had chosen to “live a fake life” where he abused trust and received significant money for his work. She said Dube carried out this fraud “without an apparent purpose” and “set himself out to be someone he was not”.

She also noted that the State confirmed that the gardaí have not been able to confirm Dube’s true identity and said “that is of some concern to the court”. Judge Duffy acknowledged that Dube made immediate admissions, has expressed remorse and that his plea of guilty was valuable as it would have been a difficult case to prove.

She further acknowledged a positive probation report and governor’s report and the fact that Dube is a diabetic. She said the case warranted a headline sentence of five and a half years before she imposed a sentence of four years, having taken the mitigation into account.

The sentence was backdated to when Dube first went into custody on August 5, 2022. The court heard that in February 2022, Dube was put forward for a senior post as a child psychologist with an annual salary of €80,000 by recruitment agency TTM Healthcare.

This application was reviewed by the head of psychology at Avista Medical, who had some concerns that the submitted documents, including a letter of validation, did not conform with the standard content and format. This person brought his concerns to the attention of the human resources department. —

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