File image for illustration (zbc)

The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) says five hundred and eighty-eight (588) candidates were caught cheating while sitting for November 2022 Ordinary and Advanced Level final examinations.

ZIMSEC reportedly roped in the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) to investigate the seemingly unprecedented examination paper leaks that rocked the 2022 “O” and “A” Level examinations.

ZIMSEC deputy director Farai Zisengwe and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Director Barnabas Mangosho on Thursday appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education led by Honourable Torerai Moyo.

Zisengwe and Mangosho told the Committee that despite the progress on the issue of leaked papers, the matter has not yet been concluded as far as O’ Level examinations are concerned. Said Zisengwe:

This is an issue that has not been concluded. We are doing the assessment and we are marking to identify these cheats.

About 588 candidates were caught along the way, but we believe there are more who will be caught during the marking period.

The board is going to be seized with the issue and we can confidently say Advanced Level results will be out in early January, but for Ordinary Level, we cannot say the same.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) said the recent leaks could be traced to ZIMSEC offices in Harare.

However, Mangosho disputed the ZRP’s position, arguing that there were no leakages at ZIMSEC. He said:

No November 2022 question paper leaked from ZIMSEC because of the security protocols that were put in place.

It is regrettable that a member-in-charge of the police in Gutu posted on social media that the question papers had leaked from ZIMSEC yet there was no evidence of such.

Mangosho added that ZIMSEC engaged CIO officers to trace the leaks, leading to the seizure of the cellphones from candidates and the arrest of those who were allegedly involved in the selling and buying of question papers. | NewsDay