A 52-YEAR-OLD man is among the eight suspects arrested for various fraudulent activities, including an attempt to write an examination on behalf of another candidate, the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) has said.
The examination body said so far no candidate has had pre-access to the examination papers.
The first arrest of a suspect who was circulating a fake scanned copy of a Mathematics paper led to the arrest of a first-year student from the Midlands State University (MSU), who also implicated an Ordinary Level student at Emmanuel Centre of Excellence in Kuwadzana Extension, Harare.
“The Zimsec issued a statement on 15 October 2023, informing the nation that some fraudsters had been marketing and selling fake 2023 November examination papers on social media platforms.
“At the time of writing this statement, there are no Zimsec November 2023 examination candidates who had pre-access to the 2023 question papers,” read the Zimsec statement.
“Investigations were done to weed out the fraudsters who were capitalising on unsuspecting candidates.
“As a result of the investigations, there have been some arrests and culprits have appeared before the courts.”
Zimsec said its security and loss control officers with the assistance of the police arrested Cole Mutandwa of Kuwadzana after he was implicated in advertising and selling fake Zimsec examination question papers.
“Upon being interrogated, Mutandwa implicated one Paddington Nhedza, a first-year student at the Midlands State University, as the source of the fake question papers found in his cell phone,” reads the statement.
Mutandwa has since appeared at Rotten Row Magistrate’s Courts on fraud charges.
“Nhedza was brought to Harare where after being interviewed he revealed to the investigating officers that he got the fake scanned copy of Maths question paper One from Alishah Mangisi, an Ordinary Level student at Emmanuel Centre Excellence located in Kuwadzana Extension in Harare,” read the statement.
Mangisi claimed to have extracted the fake question paper from a WhatsApp group, Slimy Intertainment (a group for models) and forwarded it to Nhedza for assistance.
Nhedza appeared before a magistrate at Harare Magistrates Court on October 21. He pleaded not guilty and was remanded out of custody.
All accused persons are being charged for possession of Articles for criminal use, as defined in section 40 of the criminal law (Codification and Reform Act, Chapter 9:23).
“An investigation team arrested George Bukuta, aged 52, after being alerted by a vigilant invigilator at Life Long College who noticed that Bukuta was impersonating Shadreck Mutsau, an examinations candidate using a passport which showed a date of birth of 5 May 1995.” read the statement.
“After being apprehended, Bukuta confessed that he had been paid US$200 by Shadreck Mutsau, candidate number 5036, to write A-level Family and Religious Studies and History on his behalf,” said Zimsec.
The examinations body said on October 20, the investigations team was alerted that Simbarashe Chifura, who was conducting extra lessons at his place of residence in Budiriro 1, approached Mr Edwell Tazvivinga, a teacher at Danbrough College.
He proposed a deal to smuggle a Zimsec examinations answer sheet out of the examinations room which he intended to use to write Ordinary Level combined science Paper 2 for external candidate number 3112, Monica Mikairi.”
Mr Tazvivinga alerted his superiors who contacted Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education officials and police who set a plan to catch the culprit in the act.
In the examination, Mikairi was observed as she sat and did not write anything throughout the whole session.
“Meanwhile, Chifura assigned a motor mechanic, Patrick Zhanje to go and collect the answer sheet. Police apprehended Zhanje while handing over the answer sheet to Chifura and took both of them into custody,” said Zimsec.
“In light of the above cases identified during investigations, Zimsec continues to roll out strategies and measures to tighten the security wherever question papers are, in transit and in custody, pending the writing of the examinations.”
The examination body said investigation teams are on the ground and vigilant to weed out any residual unscrupulous elements within and without the chain.
“Zimsec applauds the vigilance and integrity of centre administrators, invigilators who are working tirelessly to maintain the integrity of the examination and education system of the nation as a whole.”