MSU ‘exam cheat’ sues univer­sity

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Feature/national News - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

A MID­LANDS State Univer­sity (MSU) stu­dent who was caught while al­legedly cheat­ing dur­ing an ex­am­i­na­tion has taken the univer­sity to court for ex­pelling him from the in­sti­tu­tion and nul­li­fy­ing his re­sults.

Pros­per Makumbe was al­legedly caught by an in­vig­i­la­tor while in posses­sion of six pieces of scrap pa­per con­tain­ing ma­te­rial that was rel­e­vant to the ex­am­i­na­tion. He was writ­ing an MBA busi­ness lead­er­ship sup­ple­men­tary ex­am­i­na­tion when the in­ci­dent oc­curred on July 24 in 2014.

Makumbe filed an ap­pli­ca­tion at the Bu­l­awayo High Court seek­ing an or­der com­pelling MSU to re­verse the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of his re­sults.

In the event that the or­der is granted in his favour, Makumbe also wants the univer­sity to be or­dered to is­sue him his aca­demic cer­tifi­cate within 48 hours from the date of the or­der.

MSU wrote a let­ter to Makumbe on March 28 this year in­form­ing him of its de­ci­sion to nul­lify his re­sults fol­low­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the stu­dent dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee. Makumbe al­legedly breached rules of the Stu­dent Con­duct and Dis­ci­pline Or­di­nance 2 of 2014.

Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter signed by MSU reg­is­trar, Mr Eras­mus Mup­figa, the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee rec­om­mended Makumbe’s ex­pul­sion from the univer­sity and the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of his MBA 831 ex­am­i­na­tion re­sults.

Mr Mup­figa said Makumbe had pre­vi­ously failed the mod­ule and sought to ob­tain a pass through fraud­u­lent means

“This was a post­grad­u­ate qual­i­fi­ca­tion and as such you were well aware of the pro­ce­dures per­tain­ing to the ex­am­i­na­tion, es­pe­cially the pol­icy of ev­ery univer­sity with re­gards to cheat­ing,” reads the let­ter in part.

The reg­is­trar said the univer­sity would have failed in its obli­ga­tion to so­ci­ety if it awards its de­grees to cheats and fail­ures.

“Cheat­ing at post­grad­u­ate level should be taken more se­ri­ously since by ob­tain­ing a Masters de­gree, a per­son rep­re­sents them­selves as an ex­pert, a mas­ter in their field re­sul­tantly get­ting se­nior po­si­tions in em­ploy­ment,” said Mr Mup­figa.

In papers be­fore the court, the MSU was cited as the re­spon­dent.

Makumbe ac­cused the MSU of gross mis­di­rec­tion when it served him with a no­tice and charge sheet which did not com­ply with its rules on stu­dent con­duct and dis­ci­pline. He ar­gued that he was only given four days’ no­tice be­fore the hear­ing date.

“The re­spon­dent grossly mis­di­rected it­self when it un­rea­son­ably de­layed to con­duct my hear­ing in vi­o­la­tion of my con­sti­tu­tional right to a fair hear­ing as pro­vided by sec­tion 60 of the Con­sti­tu­tion. I sub­mit that this hon­ourable court has the pow­ers to re­view judg­ments and pro­ce­dural ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties by the re­spon­dent,” said Makumbe.

He said he mis­tak­enly brought scrap pieces of pa­per to the ex­am­i­na­tion hall due to pres­sure.

“Un­for­tu­nately, I ar­rived about 15 min­utes late into the ex­am­i­na­tion hall mis­tak­enly with scrap papers I was us­ing for my fi­nal prepa­ra­tion due to exam pres­sure and the fact that I was al­ready late. As soon as I sat down and pulled out my pens from the pocket the papers fell to the floor and the in­vig­i­la­tor saw it and she ap­proached me,” he said.

Makumbe said the in­vig­i­la­tor took his stu­dent iden­tity card and the scrap papers and al­lowed him to con­tinue with the ex­am­i­na­tion.

“I then fin­ished the ex­am­i­na­tion and the in­vig­i­la­tor in­structed me to re­main be­hind and a se­cu­rity guard came with a blank pa­per and asked me to write a re­port. I was then in­formed that I would be called for a hear­ing in two weeks’ time which never hap­pened de­spite nu­mer­ous fol­low ups. My re­sults ap­peared on my e-learn­ing ac­count as “Pass” but the re­spon­dent with­held them pend­ing a hear­ing,” he said.

Makumbe said the hear­ing was con­ducted on Fe­bru­ary 26 and on Au­gust 12 he was ex­pelled and his re­sults were nul­li­fied. — @mash­nets

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