Deputy head and teacher get 3 years in prison each for leaking O-level English paper 1 to candidates

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A DEPUTY headmaster and an English teacher at Sipepa High School in Tsholotsho district, Matabeleland North were each sentenced to three years in prison for leaking a Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) O-level English (paper 1) to candidates at the school.

Brian Mazendami (41) of 20596 Pumula South, Bulawayo, who is the deputy headmaster and the teacher, Makosini Mondela (50) of Sipepa Line in Tsholotsho were convicted on their own pleas of guilty to criminal abuse of duty as a public officer and contravening Section 35(a) and (b) of the Zimsec Act by Tsholotsho resident magistrate Mr Victor Mpofu.

The two, were, however, spared the agony of jail life after the magistrate conditionally suspended 18 months of the sentence on the condition that they do not within that period commit a similar offence.

The remaining 18 months were further suspended on the condition that Mazendami and Mondela each perform 630 hours of community service starting today.

Mondela will perform community service at Jakalasi Primary School in Tsholotsho while Mazendami will be at Godlwayo Primary School in Pumula

Prosecuting, Ms Sharon Phiri said on October 14, 2022, at around 4PM, Mazendami and Mondela connived and opened the strong room, where the examination papers were kept.

They took out a sealed envelope containing English Language paper 1 (4005/01) November 2022 examination and copied two questions from the sealed envelope before they returned it to the strong room.

“Mazendami then taught his selected students how to write compositions based on those topics. He then corrected them after submitting their compositions,” said Ms Phiri.

The court heard that a whistle-blower sent an anonymous letter to Zimsec and a taskforce team was set up to conduct investigations at Sipepa High School leading to the arrest of the two teachers.

Meanwhile, in another case, a George Silundika High School teacher, Joseph Moyo (36) appeared before Tsholotsho magistrate Mr Regius Mawarire for leaking a Mathematics examinations paper. He was released on free bail to December 15.

As part of the bail conditions, he was barred from visiting the school until the finalisation of investigations by the police.

He was also ordered to continue residing at his given address in Cowdray Park and reports at ZRP Cowdray Park once a fortnight.

Circumstances are that Moyo, a Chemistry teacher, was allegedly sent Zimsec O-level Mathematics paper two by one Farai Sibanda, who is still at large, via Bluetooth.

“On the 19 October, a day before the Mathematics paper 2 examination was written, Moyo conducted extra lessons for his Form Four learners at his laboratory during which he started revising the leaked paper,” said the prosecutor, Ms Valentine Makoni.

Moyo was represented by Mr Thabekhulu Dube of Ncube and Partners.

Last week, a headmaster at Thokozani Secondary School in Insiza district, Matabeleland South Gainmore Muzezewa and his deputy, Howard Zvipore appeared before Filabusi magistrate Ms Belinda Nunu facing charges of criminal abuse of office and violating Section 35 of the Zimsec Act.

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 examination process in his capacity as a cluster manager, was allegedly aware of the incident.

They were remanded in custody to tomorrow pending the outcome of their bail application.

— Chronicle


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