Examinations Paper leaks

ZIMSEC has had a number of examination paper leaks attributed to poor controls and corruption. This has soiled the image of the council. Although the council has tried to exonerate itself from this debacle, the logistic matrix (transportation of papers from the council's regional centres to schools)has shown that the council is partly to blame.[1] Some school headmasters use their own vehicles whilst others use public transport. The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora hinted that there was going to be a new system but he later dispelled ever saying so.[1]

The first case of a leaked paper was reported in 1996 when the then Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, Cde Edmund Garwe gave his daughter examination papers for the 1996 Zimbabwe Junior Certificate examinations.[2] Garwe was forced to resign as a way of trying to save his image which was already tainted.

In 2005, the council withheld O Level Chemistry results for Gokomere High School after it suspected that the paper was leaked by the Chemistry teacher.[3] In 2006, O Level examination papers were also stolen after a certain headmaster from Karoi gave a ride to some men on his way back to the school from the council's regional office. He only discovered that some of the papers had been stolen.[3] In Karoi also during the same year, the council failed to give some certain schools in Karoi grade seven scanner examination answer papers. These pupils were forced to use ordinary sheets plucked from ordinary exercise books. Teachers were later mandated to transpose the answers on the scanner examination sheets when they arrived, hours after the examinations had been written.[3]

In 2007, it was also reported that O Level examination papers fell off a vehicle along Simon Mazorodze road and they scattered and those who were within the vicinity were able to pick up the papers.[3] The council however dismissed this.

In 2009, a certain college in Harare was suspected of having leaked the Mathematics Papers after it registered high pass rates.[3] This case was also dismissed.

In 2012, more than 10 O Level papers were lost after the headmaster of Sijaugwe Secondary School lost the papers which he had put on top of a bus which he had boarded on his way back to Sijaugwe from the council's regional office in Bulawayo.[2] The council dished out US$850 000 meant to ensure that stolen papers had to be re-written.[4] The following year, some O Level papers also leaked (Geography and Integrated Science papers) and the culprits were arrested in Zhombe, Kwekwe and a student from Midlands State University was also implicated in the debacle.[5]

In 2014, O Level pupils had to resit for four papers which had leaked. The council had earlier on argued that the papers which leaked at Whata Secondary School was of not of paramount importance as only a few pupils had mananged to get hold of the paper. The council's board chairman, Professor Levi Nyagura however announced that the council was taking another stance as pupils were supposed to re-write the leaked papers from 24–27 November 2014.[6]

Although the English paper was wrote on 25 November, it was reported that the paper had also leaked as students at Nkazhe Secondary School wrote the paper at 8 am of which the paper was supposed to be written at 2 pm.[7] Some Members of Parliament affiliated to the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front had long been castigating the council with some of the MPs calling for the reinstatement of the Cambridge board.[8] The National Constitution Assembly also called for the council to be dissolved as it was apparent that it was failing to control its operations.[2]

Introducing the Gridlock System

The council announced that it was to introduce a new system to ensure that school heads will not be able to open examination papers before they are supposed to be written. The council announced that the gridlock technology is a box with a size of a briefcase and each box carries all question papers and the box can only be opened at the council's headquarters.[5] This idea came up about as a way to contain the issue of papers leaking almost every year.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Andrew Kunambura, ZIMSEC: A Child That Never Learns, The Financial Gazette, published:21 Nov 2014,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wongai Zhangazha, Scandal-hit Zimsec a liability, Zimbabwe Independent, published:21 Nov 2014,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Isao Mashanyare and Emmanuel Chinamasa, School Examinations leakage: Case of Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council, Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, published:Apr 2014,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  4. Garikai Dzoma ZIMSEC mulls electronic seals to curb leaks, Techzim, Retrieved:15 Jan 2015, Published:15 Jan 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 ZIMSEC ACTS ON EXAMS LEAKS, News dzeZimbabwe, published:13 Jan 2014,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  6. Zimsec orders resit of 4 leaked papers, The Herald, published:12 Nov 2014,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  7. Zimsec English paper leaks again?, Bulawayo 24 News, published:28 Nov 2014,retrieved:15 January 2015"
  8. Chengetai Zvauya, Bring back Cambridge exams: MP, Daily News, published:17 Feb 2014,retrieved:15 January 2015"