At least 19 pupils from Nagle House School in Marondera have withdrawn their case challenging the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) decision to cancel 2017 Ordinary Level results for an entire stream for cheating in their Mathematics examination.
The examinations body made the decision after gathering evidence suggesting that some pupils had cheated in the exam.
Two pupils from the school were allegedly found in possession of prepared answers for the Mathematics Paper 1 that was written last year.
When the hearing commenced before Justice David Mangota at the High Court last week, Zimsec lawyer Mr Tawanda Zvobgo of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha raised a special preliminary point attacking the validity of the affidavits, which were deposed by the pupils who are all minors.
Mr Zvobgo argued that there were no supporting affidavits from their respective guardians and hence the matter was not properly constituted before the court.
“There is no valid application before the court,” said Mr Zvobgo. “The deponents of the founding affidavits are all minors who have limited capacity to act and require assistance from their guardians to enter into a valid juristic act. Litigation in this court is inclusive.”
The pupils’ lawyer Mr Mugove Mazanhi concurred with Mr Zvobgo’s argument, resulting in the matter being withdrawn.
The 19 pupils wanted an order to block Zimsec from nullifying the results of the entire stream and had also cited Primary and Secondary Education Ministry and Nagle House School headmaster Mr Alexio Kurisa as respondents.
At least 24 pupils from the school have already been arrested and a case of exam fraud is still pending at the courts. The candidates were arrested after examiners noted strange similarities in their answers.
In their urgent application, the 19 pupils were arguing that Zimsec was unjustified in cancelling the results for the entire stream as it was punishing innocent candidates for the crimes committed by a few.
They stated that there was reasonable apprehension that if Zimsec’s decision was not reversed, they were all going to fail to enrol for A-Level, with enrolment already underway.
They also argued in the application that Zimsec cancelled the results of all other subjects that the 19 students had sat for in November exams.
This, they argued, was done despite only two pupils being caught cheating in the examination room.
Zimsec, they said, should have just cancelled the results of those pupils, instead of those for the other applicants who were innocent.