An examination cheating scandal has rocked the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) after over 100 soldiers reportedly forged Ordinary Level (O’ Level) mathematics results to secure promotions.
A pass in O’ Level maths is one of the prerequisites for junior commissioned officers to sit for military examinations before they can be promoted to the rank of captain.
The NewsHawks was told that the officers have been given up to November 2022 to present genuine results slips which are confirmed by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council.
The publication further reports that the army careers department and units last year conducted an investigation into exams cheating which revealed that the officers had misrepresented to the military that they had passed the subject when they had not. A military source said:
_A lieutenant can actually be promoted to the rank of captain without undergoing PCC although they will be required to under the training at Nyanga’s All Arms Battle School._
_Internal investigators worked with the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) and it is during these investigations that it was found out that the passes which the officers had presented were forged. By then, all those who sat and passed the examinations had already been promoted to the rank of captain. The board saw it fit to instruct them to rewrite the exams instead of stripping them of their ranks due to the large numbers. So as it stands their results have been nullified._
_The officers were working with colleges and some Zimsec officials who failed to beat the system in terms of authenticating the forged results._
Officer cadets, who undergo 24 months of training at the Gweru-based Zimbabwe Military Academy (ZMA), are expected to have at least six points at Advanced Level and five O’ Level subjects, including maths and English, to get enrolled.
ZMA can waiver maths for a number of reasons including that potential recruits are from marginalised societies where the pass rate is low due to their peculiar circumstances.
After the pass-out parade at the ZNA, the officers are deployed to various units as second-lieutenants and after making a firm commitment to continue to serve, they then undergo the platoon commanders’ course (PCC) at a later stage.
At this stage maths then becomes a must for one to sit these examinations.