THE Petauke Magistrates’ Court has sentenced three teachers from Mwambula Shamatala Primary School to two years, six months imprisonment with hard labour for engaging in examination malpractices.
The three were convicted and sentenced after they pleaded guilty to the charge while the fourth suspect pleaded not guilty.
Magistrate Webby Chanda said examination malpractice was a serious offence, which should not be tolerated.
Magistrate Chanda said the fourth accused person, Moses Sakala, who pleaded not guilty would appear in court on November 18, for commencement of trial.
On Monday, Eastern Province police commissioner Eugene Sibote named the four teachers as Evans Musonda, the head teacher; Sakala, senior teacher; Evaristo Banda and Cephas Phiri.
“Basically, what happened is that when the grade nine examination papers were taken there, they were put in an office. And in that same strong room, four locks were used to secure those examination papers and each of these four people were given a set of keys for one lock, so one person cannot open the door unless they were in the presence of the others. But to the contrary, on Monday when people from the DEBS office went there, they found that the locks were actually intact but when they opened, they discovered that all the examination papers were opened and some of the examination scripts from each of the batches [were missing],” he said.
Sibote said later, officers from the DEBS office had no option but to report the matter to police.
“When our officers went on the ground, since there was no visible breaking or any other means through which people could have gotten access to the same papers other than the use of keys, because the doors were actually locked at the time the DEBS people went there, we were left with no option but to apprehend the ones who were in custody of the keys as our prime suspects. So we believe that they might have connived to get some of these examination papers,” said Sibote.