A 30-year-old Bulawayo woman who was found guilty of writing a Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) Ordinary Level exam on behalf of a friend has been fined ZWL$2 000 for the offense.
The culprit, Faith Moyo, was alleged of writing the English Paper 1 examination on behalf of her now fugitive 34-year-old friend Nobesuthu Dube, who has since gone into hiding.
The incident occured at Mncumbata Secondary School in Bulawayo’s Nkulumane 12 suburb.
Yesterday, Moyo appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Ulukhile Ndlovu, who fined her $2 000 or alternatively a 90-day Prison sentence.
Prosecutor Magret Takawira told the court that Moyo was picked up by police on June 30 after an alert invigilator, and the school deputy headmaster suspected foul play with the English Language candidate’s credentials mismatching that of her now fugitive masquerade.
The disgraced exam cheat pleaded guilty to charges of contravening section 35 (d) of the Zimsec Act Chapter 25:1 (Impersonating another person) during trial.
“On June 30 at around 0920hrs the deputy headmaster at Mncumbata Secondary School Mr Kumbulani Nkiwane was called in by one of the invigilators Ms Patience Hlabangana to the examination room after she had noticed that the accused person Faith Moyo was writing English Paper 1 on behalf of Nobesuthu Dube a private candidate,” Takawira submitted.
“On receiving the message Mr Nkiwane investigated the case and then ordered the accused person to stop writing the examination,” she said.
The examinations regulatory body’s Chapter for Bulawayo Province was alerted by police about Moyo’s interdicted criminal activity after she first claimed that she was writing the English Language exam for her sister before making a dramatic u-turn to say she was doing that for her friend, a Zimsec June 2020 candidate.
This is not the first time that the country’s public examinations have been mired in controversy after Sixth Formers at Gebhuza Secondary School in Hwange were last year arrested after they shared an allegedly leaked Economics Paper 3 question paper.
A year before the Gebhuza Scandal hogged the media limelight for all the wrong reasons, fifteen Regina Mundi High School students from Gweru were blacklisted over alleged exam cheating.
They challenged the decision to nullify their November 2017 results by dragging Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavhima to the courts of justice.
One of the pupils, believed to be the mastermind, is alleged to have mobilised her classmates to contribute $3 each towards raising money that was used to purchase copies of the November 2017 Examinations question papers for English Paper two and Mathematics Paper two.
In another incident in 2017, a woman ended up in police hands for academic fraud, after she wrote an Ordinary Level Mathematics examination for another candidate at Irisvale Secondary School in Matabeleland South’s Umzingwane District, southern Zimbabwe.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews