Saturday, 10 March 2018


The High Court has upheld the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) decision to nullify all November 2017 Ordinary Level results for four St David’s Bonda High School pupils who were caught cheating in the Mathematics Paper 2 public examination.

Zimsec nullified all the November 2017 examination results for the pupils – Mazvita Vela, Tendai Nyamuronda, Valentine Pedzayi and Akino Linda – for cheating after they managed to access the examination paper in advance.

Justice Happias Zhou made the ruling following an urgent application brought by Mr Mike Vela, Mr Albert Nyamuronda, Mr Joseph Pedzayi and Ms Brenda Hatinahama, who were acting on behalf of their affected daughters.

The parents wanted Zimsec to release their children’s results.

In his ruling, Justice Zhou intimated that the courts should not be seen to undermine the efforts of authorities that are charged with the responsibility of protecting the integrity of the public examination system.

“Exams are matters of national importance and it is necessary for Zimsec to be allowed to act in order to preserve its integrity,” said Justice Zhou.

“The court will be condoning an illegal conduct if it ignored the findings made by the examination body.”

Ms Hatinahama withdrew from the case after it was proved by Zimsec that she was buying examination papers for her daughter and sending them in advance of the scheduled examination through Whatsapp messages.

Justice Zhou noted with great concern that the evidence presented by Zimsec suggested that she was party to the cheating.

The parents were represented by Mr Simon Chabuka, while Zimsec was represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu, who was instructed by Mr Zvobgo Tawanda Zvobgo of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha.

Mr Zvobgo said the ruling was an indication of the courts’ resolve and commitment to protect the integrity of Zimbabwe’s education system.

“The actions of Zimsec are reasonably justified in a democratic society,” he said.

“If it is established that a student cheated, even in one subject, then that student is not a credible candidate. The entirety of their results should be nullified as was done in the past case.”

The pupils were asking the court to set aside Zimsec’s decision and to endorse all their results as final and definitive.

The four pupils were on October 17 last year allegedly caught by the teachers with questions and pre-written answers of the actual 2017 ‘O’ level Mathematics Paper 2.

It was also alleged that the four had premature access to the examination questions via social media platforms.

The quartet did not deny the allegations. This resulted in their results for all the subjects they sat for being withheld.

The parents, who accompanied their children to collect the results recently, were shocked when the school head gave them documents entitled “Examination Malpractice” dated November 8, 2017, which had details of the allegations.

Last week, the parents, who felt hard done, filed an urgent chamber application demanding the immediate release of the results, arguing the decision taken by Zimsec was drastic and violated the children’s constitutional rights for administrative conduct.

Mr Vela, who deposed an affidavit, claimed that Zimsec’s decision was irrational in the circumstances as it failed to give reasons for the drastic action it took.

The parents argued that Zimsec was discriminating against their children since other examination cheats were not treated in the same way.

Recently, the High Court endorsed nullification of English Paper 2 results and ruled that the English examination results should be based on English Paper 1 written in November last year. Herald


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