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Headmaster, deputy in exam fraud rap

by Staff reporter
17 Nov 2022 at 05:04hrs | Views
A HEADMASTER at Thokozani Secondary School in Insiza district in Matabeleland South, Gainmore Muzezewa allegedly wrote a Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) Ordinary level English examination (Paper 1 and 2) for a candidate.

His deputy, Howard Zvipore, who was in charge of the entire examination process in his capacity as a cluster manager, was allegedly fully aware of the incident.

This emerged yesterday when both Muzezewa (47) and Zvipore (43) appeared before Filabusi magistrate Ms Belinda Nunu facing charges of criminal abuse of office and violating Section 35 of the Zimsec Act.

They were remanded in custody to November 22 pending the outcome of their application for bail. Zvipore allegedly took advantage of the remoteness of the school and opened the safe where the examination papers were kept in Muzezewa's office.

He allegedly opened the papers, scanned them before transferring them to his cellphone. He later transferred the examination papers to one Lionel Kamungeremu.

On the day the papers were written, Zvipore allegedly gave his superior the question papers and answer sheet.

Muzezewa wrote the exam for one Honest Savaka who on that particular day was not at school.

The two accused persons, through their lawyers, Mr Tinamate Midzi of H Tafa and Associates and Mr Bukhosi Ncube of Malinga and Mpofu Legal Practitioners, applied for bail pending trial.

In their applications, Muzezewa and Zvipore, said they were proper candidates for bail, arguing that there no compelling reason by the State warranting their continued detention.

They offered to pay $20 000 bail each and to report at Zvishavane Police Station once a fortnight as part of the bail conditions.

In their submission, the lawyers contended that their clients would not interfere with State witnesses or abscond in the event that they are released on bail.

They further argued that they had no history of criminal record.

The prosecutor, Mr Shepherd Moyo opposed the application, arguing that there was no guarantee that if released on bail the two would not abscond given the gravity of the offence.

During cross examination, the investigating officer, Simon Zifungo from the Criminal Investigations Department's commercial crimes division, told the court that there was overwhelming evidence against the accused persons.

He said given the gravity of the offence and the possibility of a jail sentence, Muzezewa and Zvipore were likely to abscond if granted bail.

The State also raised fears of the two interfering with evidence as well as witnesses some of whom are staying with  them at the teachers' cottage.

"What they did damaged the whole nation, it's tantamount to treason because when you want to destroy a country, you have to first destroy its education system, which is exactly what the two accused persons did. We are now at an advanced stage of our investigations and ready to work throughout the night so that we bring this matter to finality," said Zifungo.

Last month, police arrested 109 learners who were accused of sharing a leaked Ordinary Level Mathematics Paper One. In light of that, authorities are now considering amending the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) Act which would result in stiffer penalties for examination cheats.

According to section 35 of the Zimsec Act, an examination cheat is liable to a sentence of a level 7 fine or a custodial sentence of not more than a year in prison or both.

Police have also arrested an undisclosed number of school and examination officials allegedly involved in leaking the paper.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they are investigating 28 reported cases of examination malpractices linked to the Mathematics Paper.

Source - The Chronicle