A headmaster at Nenyunga Secondary School in Gokwe, Fabious Maripise, has been sentenced to 48 months in prison after he was found guilty of writing 11 subjects on behalf of students in exchange for cattle.
The sentence was, however, wholly suspended on condition the headmaster performed 620 hours of community service at Musika Clinic at Masakadza Business Centre in Gokwe.
Maripise was convicted on his own plea of guilty on two counts of fraud after he wrote the subjects for two Ordinary Level students at his school.
Each count attracted a 24-month jail term.
Gokwe magistrate Collins Chiruma suspended six months of the 24 months for a period of five years on condition of good behaviour and the remaining 18 months was wholly suspended on condition the headmaster performed 620 hours of community service.
The magistrate set the same sentence and conditions on the second count. The community service will run concurrently.
Agreed facts are that between between November and December last year, Maripise was approached by two students from his school who asked him to write “O” Level examinations on their behalf in exchange for cattle.
The headmaster accepted the offer and wrote six “O”Level subjects for Zacheaus Muleya and five subjects for Kibos Siyambare.
The examination papers were presented for marking and the students passed.
The offence came to light after officials from the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) realised a curious discrepancy in the handwriting of the students’ examination papers.
Following a tip-off from the school, Zimsec raised the issue with the police, resulting in the headmaster’s arrest.
Maripise was taken to court and pleaded guilty to both counts. He also admitted receiving two cattle from the students’ parents. The beasts were recovered by the police.
Mbonisi Ncube appeared for the state.