A 23-year-old man was sentenced to 12 months in prison after he swindled Ordinary Level and Advanced Level candidates a total of $495 000 after selling them examination papers.
Kudzai Chireya claimed he was a Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) official and created a WhatsApp group that he used to defraud the learners.
He appeared before Chipinge magistrate, Alfred Chinembiri facing fraud charges on Wednesday.
Chireya pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
However, three months were suspended on the condition of good behaviour and the remaining nine months were suspended on condition that he performs 350 hours of community service at Birchenough Bridge Hospital.
The prosecutor, Thulani Zondwayo, told the court that in October this year, Chireya devised a plan to defraud unsuspecting prospective ZIMSEC candidates through WhatsApp. Said Zondwayo:
Through his WhatsApp group named MrPovo, Chireya said he was a ZIMSEC official and had access to both Advanced and Ordinary Level October 2022 to November 2022 examination question papers.
Chireya captured some screenshots of different examination papers using his cellphone. These included Mathematics Paper One and Two as well as English Paper Two.
In order to access the aforementioned full examination papers, one had to pay $5 000 on his supplied Ecocash number, 0785588968.
… The accused received a total of $495 000 from different complainants and he converted the money to his personal use.
The offence came to light when ZIMSEC officials witnessed the alarming leakages of its examination papers and reported the matter to the police.
Zondwayo said on 29 November, police from CID Commercial Crimes Division in Harare pounced on Chireya and arrested him. He added:
They searched and recovered his cellphone which contained several Ecocash transactions made by examination candidates. Nothing was recovered.