Police have charged former Malawi National Examinations Board (Maneb) executive director Gerald Chiunda and three others for contravening the Maneb Act in relation to the cancelled 2020 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations.
The development follows the arrest on Tuesday of Chiunda and the three others, namely Ishmael Faki, who is Maneb’s chief examination development officer, Joseph Chilombe, chief examination officer and Owen Kutho, who is head of security.
In a telephone interview yesterday, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the former Maneb executives have been charged with failing to exercise due care and attention in relation to security of national examination materials contrary to the Maneb Act.
Said the police spokesperson: “They have also been charged with failing to take reasonable steps for the security of materials for national examinations which also contravenes the Maneb Act.”
Kadadzera said the four will remain in police custody until they appear in court, further adding the arrests follow findings of police investigations into the matter.
On Tuesday, police in Zomba arrested the four Maneb executives for their role in the 2020 MSCE examination leakage.
The Maneb Act (1987) mandates the board to take charge of the process of localising the development and administration of national examinations.
In January, Maneb board chairperson Alfred Mtenje and acting executive director Dorothy Nampota appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Education where they presented a preliminary report pertaining to investigations on the matter.
The report stated that some disgruntled staff may have disabled security cameras which would have captured critical information on suspects who leaked the examinations.
The report, which was demanded by the committee to enable it brief Parliament when it meets in this month, followed government’s cancellation of the examinations in November last year after massive leakage of some examination papers.
At least 154 147 candidates were expected to sit the 2020 MSCE examinations, out of which 72 641 were female and 81 506 were male.
President Lazarus Chakwera ordered that Maneb management be replaced for failure to professionally handle the examinations and that Maneb should re-administer MSCE examinations before end of January 2021. The re-administered examinations started from January 6 to 29 2020.