Twenty-year-old Tatenda Christopher Chinyamakobvu a Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) student hacked into the university’s Examination Results database and forged results for himself and seven other students who had failed their semester exams last year.

Tatenda is one of three students who aced a hackathon competition staged by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) in Kadoma recently.

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The student received varying amounts in United States dollars from the students who had failed in courses such as financial management, commercial law, computer organisation and architecture and operating systems among others.  Some of the students had failed multiple courses and paid amounts ranging from US$20 and US$80. The 20-year-old student also altered his August to December 2018 results where he was supposed to rewrite a failed course and went on to proceed with his studies.

He is currently in Level 2.2 at the university and allegedly accessed the CUT Examination Computer Database Server using a Python Script called SQLMap.

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Chinyamakobvu’s selection to represent Zimbabwe emerged when his lawyer this week applied for his bail conditions to be relaxed, after the student was arrested and charged with eight counts of hacking.

Lawyer Tungamirai Chamutsa asked a Chinhoyi magistrate to alter Chinyamakobvu’s reporting conditions to the police, and to release his passport to enable him to prepare and travel for the summit.

The lawyer argued that Chinyamakobvu was not a flight risk as the state was catering for his travel expenses and stay in Switzerland.

The application was granted.

Prosecutors say Chinyamakobvu, a Level 2.2 Information and Technology student, first hacked into the CUT computers after failing a module during the August to December 2018 semester. To avoid a resit, he hacked into the university computer system and gave himself a pass.

He did the same for seven other students, charging anything between US$20 and US$80.

The system breach was noticed in January this year when the CUT Information Communication Technology director reportedly discovered that Chinyamakobvu had cooked his results.