ZIMSEC examinations began earlier this week and on the first day, it seemed like everything was going according to plan. However, on Tuesday, there were reports of the Maths paper leaking. By Friday 21 October it became clear that ZIMSEC has a massive leak on their hands. At the moment the police and ZIMSEC has only confirmed English Paper 2 and Maths Paper 1 leaks but reports going on social media point to a massive leak that has the potential to disrupt the actual examinations timetable. Anecdotal evidence shows that the nature of the leak suggests ZIMSEC is compromised to its very core.

Due to the numerous media inquiries on the response of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Police confirm that it is conducting criminal investigations in connection with the leakage and circulation of the 2022 ‘O’ Level ZIMSEC examination papers throughout the country.

So far, eleven (11) cases have been reported to the Police in all parts of the country.

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The general public and the media are requested to direct all administrative issues concerning the examination leakage to ZIMSEC while the Police handle the criminal investigations.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police will ensure that arrests are effected on anyone who is illegally circulating examination papers on social media and physically to the public.

ZRP spokerperson Paul Nyathi

Technology is spreading leaks like wildfire

In the old days, leaks could easily be contained as they were usually confined to a given centre. Things appear different with social media easily accessible these days. Investigations show that leaked papers are in soft copy form. We are not talking about scanned copies here. The papers appear to be from the original source (ZIMSEC) itself. Students from various provinces are sending papers to other students in other provinces making investigations and efforts to contain the leaks different. In one instance a Pamushana student sent the paper to a student in Bikita. The student appears to have gotten the paper from someone else from another province.

Combating leaks in such an environment is going to be very difficult. It doesn’t help that poverty has made the urge to past so overwhelming a lot of students are willing to do anything to pass. One way to deal with this is to make each paper unique by say adding a tracking number to allow it to be tracked. It’s not foolproof but it could help in locating sources of leaks faster. Some countries have resorted to shutting down the internet during exams but that might actually prevent centres from reporting leaks.