Zimbabwe: Cheating Accused College Students Take Results Row to Court

Nine students who were denied their results for alleged cheating when they sat for their National Diploma examinations at Belvedere Teachers College have approached the High Court seeking an order compelling the release of the results.

The nine are Linda Jembere, Virginia Mukamba, Lorraine Marembo, Lizzy Madziwa, Phildar K Chimbote, Abigail Nyamadzavo, Sheila Tigere, Kudakwashe Wamuka, Marilyn Marimira and Danai Rukwambaire.

In their court challenge, they cited the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education as respondent.

The students allege the respondent unilaterally withheld and refused to release their results for examinations they sat for in November 2019.

The basis of such refusal emanates from an allegation that the applicants cheated when they wrote the subject, Internet and Web Development (Practical) 553/15/S10B.

The students sat for the examination under the watch of invigilators with no one at the time having been caught cheating.

The applicants seek an order for the unconditional release of the results "because of the conduct of the respondent the rules of natural justice as codified in section 3(2) of the Administrative Justice Act".

The applicants wrote their National Diploma 3 sometime in November 2019 at Belvedere Technical Teachers College.

Results were out in January 2020 and the applicants went to the college for collection but were not given their results.

"To my surprise, I was never issued the results except to be verbally advised by the principal that I was disqualified due to an allegation that I had cheated in the subject examination referred to as Internet and Web Development (Practical)-553/15/S10B," said Jembere who wrote an affidavit on behalf of the other applicants.

Jembere said they wrote to HEXCO deputy director of national examinations complaining about disqualification and were advised to write another letter requesting to sit again for the exam.

On January 20, 2020, she wrote again and was told to pay a remarking fee of $500 which she did.

In March, she was called again and was interviewed by HEXCO experts who asked basic questions. Until June 10, 2021, the applicants were still waiting for their results.

They decided to visit the college where they were told that the decision to disqualify them still stood.

She complained that no notice was given regarding the decision to disqualify them.

They were never given an opportunity to make representations in answering to the allegation of cheating and never given notice of their right to appeal.

"To my surprise, I have been disqualified for cheating yet during the examination, we had several invigilators. I and some other applicants never used the same examination venue and no news was ever heard of that the exam paper in issue had even leaked. As such, I and other applicants are left with no option other than to institute this action for relief."

The matter is pending.

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