Zimbabwe Professional Hunter and Guide Exams Nullified

rookhawk

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So in typical Zimbabwe fashion there is a new scandal brewing.

Someone or some group of people were either negligent or corrupt within government and their professional guide association and in so doing, the professional examination questions and answers left their custody.

In reaction to that, no one in the association's leadership nor in government has been censured, punished, or apologized for any act. Instead, the association voided all the examinees test results and they must take the test again.

The damages so far are as follows:

1.) The guilty cheat may just study hard and pass the exam on 2nd try. Thus, if you hire any of these future professionals if you partake in a Zim safari, you may very well be hiring a corrupt cheater.

2.) The innocent that passed the test forever have a cloud over their heads. If they fail by a point or two on a second try, they will be fingered as cheaters rather than as a coincidence. The innocent have lost 6 months to 12 months of lifetime wages due to no misconduct of their own. Their lifetime wages will surely be reduced in some fashion also because forever it will be assumed "they were part of the cheater's exam era".

This is the challenge in Zim as they believe they cherish ethics above all else and thus out of an abundance of caution, are very willing to rob innocent people of their liberties to ensure that the bad guy gets away with nothing. Except so far, the only bad actor was the government and private sector leaders that couldn't maintain confidential custody of their examination. This is dangerous, flawed thinking that happens in Zim my friends. But even if you discount the victims, the test takers that did nothing wrong, you're left with a scary principle for anyone contemplating Zim tourism. Precedent. Zimbabwean's association and government have a demonstrable track record of erring on the side of robbing liberties from people and casting shade over anyone if it has any chance of protecting their image. This happened during Cecil, it could happen to any client and their professional as all it takes is an accusation, without evidence, to have them destroying someone's name and integrity to "err on the side of caution".

We must apply pressure on our friends in Zim and their organization that do not understand where this type of thinking leads. It's not just "un-American" in the notion that you must always presume innocence, but it is also cannibalizing to the hunting community. It suggests in Zim they will eat their own without concrete evidence if it allows the organism of hunting to survive. Eventually, after many more amputations, the host will be but a stump, everyone having been expelled by mere accusation rather than after a charge, trial, defense, and if merited, a conviction. This type of thinking should concern any hunter because you could be the next innocent accused, not tried nor convicted, that can be discarded out of an abundance of concern for the appearance of ethics.

Here is their letter. The closing comment is "Ethics are everything". Perhaps in Zim, but elsewhere in the world justice for the innocent is everything. In the Arab world there is a saying "If anyone slays a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people". This parable certainly applies to jurisprudence in the hunting community. To impune without evidence, harming one innocent, is to condemn the whole industry.

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gillettehunter

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What a flipping mess.
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Hank2211

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Sorry Rookhawk. I can't agree with you here, at least not entirely.

This sort of situation occurs in North American institutions from time to time, whether in college, university or professional exams. In most cases (I can't say always because I'm not aware of all instances), if there is no way to clearly identify those who have cheated and those who have not, it's typical that all results are voided, penalizing the innocent as well as the guilty (here's an interesting video with just such an example:
).

As unfair as it may be, the reality is that those who studied and took the exam without cheating have the greatest chance of passing the new exam successfully. Those who cheated will not have studied and will have the hardest time passing the new exams.

Yes, the government and professional association should investigate and attempt to identify the guilty parties who both leaked the test and cheated, but I really don't think there is any reasonable alternative but to void all results in cases like this.

And I don't think that's un-American. I don't see any other realistic alternative.
 

rookhawk

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Sorry Rookhawk. I can't agree with you here, at least not entirely.

This sort of situation occurs in North American institutions from time to time, whether in college, university or professional exams. In most cases (I can't say always because I'm not aware of all instances), if there is no way to clearly identify those who have cheated and those who have not, it's typical that all results are voided, penalizing the innocent as well as the guilty (here's an interesting video with just such an example:
).

As unfair as it may be, the reality is that those who studied and took the exam without cheating have the greatest chance of passing the new exam successfully. Those who cheated will not have studied and will have the hardest time passing the new exams.

Yes, the government and professional association should investigate and attempt to identify the guilty parties who both leaked the test and cheated, but I really don't think there is any reasonable alternative but to void all results in cases like this.

And I don't think that's un-American. I don't see any other realistic alternative.


As someone that has worked in academia (teaching risk management topics no less) and has managed fraud investigation organizations, I'd say this approach above has many problems and in many jurisdictions with a robust legal system, opens up tremendous liability.

Had anyone asked me, before they issued a press release making the government and the association look poor, what should be done, I would have advised the following.

IMMEDIATELY, and without notice, a supplemental addendum exam covering additional questions from the common body of knowledge would be delivered to the test takers and proctored on the spot. The pass/fail for such a pop quiz would have a lower pass threshold, perhaps 50%. Those that pass are likely to have studied broadly rather than crammed solely on the known test questions. Those that fail would be further questioned about fraud, hopefully leading to a closed-door solution to a one or more test takers.

Instead, it was dirty laundry aired to the whole planet, furthering the post-Cecil era concerns that about anyone can be thrown under the bus without concrete evidence, charges, trial by jury, and punishment only upon conviction.

There isn't a time I'm in Zimbabwe where the government and association aren't embroiled in some sort of scandal they could avoid if they were just cut-and-dried if they held to the position: "no conviction, no comment" and "if its legal, we have nothing to say and others should mind their business too". I think last time it was one of the two major Safari advocacy organization's president that was on safari and had to abandon the hunt because the government informed the antis that he or she was hunting lion. In the end, scrambling for political shelter occurred and that hunt was canceled. This is what happens when people and groups meddle in matters that exist prior to charges, trial, and conviction.
 

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So a total of 4 exams were set aside, I don't see this tainting the entire industry. They also do not state that any of the four had seen the questions beforehand, and at this time they may not even know if anybody did see the questions in advance. The written exam is but one small part of the overall process so there may not be a need to have those four persons redo the entire exam. No other country in Africa puts their perspective PH's through such an exhausting process as Zimbabwe does, that does not stop people from hunting in other countries. As I understand it, in South Africa which probably has more hunters than any other African country, the process to get a PH license is just an application.
 

BRICKBURN

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Zimbabwe is actually a sovereign country. Can't get more un-American than that. LOL.

Create new exams and have the Learners re-write at no extra cost, transportation, etc.. The sooner the better.

Certainly find out the source of the leak, if possible, and address the issue.

Good luck to the Learner PH's that actually studied. They should do well.
 

C.W. Richter

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So in typical Zimbabwe fashion there is a new scandal brewing.

Someone or some group of people were either negligent or corrupt within government and their professional guide association and in so doing, the professional examination questions and answers left their custody.

In reaction to that, no one in the association's leadership nor in government has been censured, punished, or apologized for any act. Instead, the association voided all the examinees test results and they must take the test again.

The damages so far are as follows:

1.) The guilty cheat may just study hard and pass the exam on 2nd try. Thus, if you hire any of these future professionals if you partake in a Zim safari, you may very well be hiring a corrupt cheater.

2.) The innocent that passed the test forever have a cloud over their heads. If they fail by a point or two on a second try, they will be fingered as cheaters rather than as a coincidence. The innocent have lost 6 months to 12 months of lifetime wages due to no misconduct of their own. Their lifetime wages will surely be reduced in some fashion also because forever it will be assumed "they were part of the cheater's exam era".

This is the challenge in Zim as they believe they cherish ethics above all else and thus out of an abundance of caution, are very willing to rob innocent people of their liberties to ensure that the bad guy gets away with nothing. Except so far, the only bad actor was the government and private sector leaders that couldn't maintain confidential custody of their examination. This is dangerous, flawed thinking that happens in Zim my friends. But even if you discount the victims, the test takers that did nothing wrong, you're left with a scary principle for anyone contemplating Zim tourism. Precedent. Zimbabwean's association and government have a demonstrable track record of erring on the side of robbing liberties from people and casting shade over anyone if it has any chance of protecting their image. This happened during Cecil, it could happen to any client and their professional as all it takes is an accusation, without evidence, to have them destroying someone's name and integrity to "err on the side of caution".

We must apply pressure on our friends in Zim and their organization that do not understand where this type of thinking leads. It's not just "un-American" in the notion that you must always presume innocence, but it is also cannibalizing to the hunting community. It suggests in Zim they will eat their own without concrete evidence if it allows the organism of hunting to survive. Eventually, after many more amputations, the host will be but a stump, everyone having been expelled by mere accusation rather than after a charge, trial, defense, and if merited, a conviction. This type of thinking should concern any hunter because you could be the next innocent accused, not tried nor convicted, that can be discarded out of an abundance of concern for the appearance of ethics.

Here is their letter. The closing comment is "Ethics are everything". Perhaps in Zim, but elsewhere in the world justice for the innocent is everything. In the Arab world there is a saying "If anyone slays a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people". This parable certainly applies to jurisprudence in the hunting community. To impune without evidence, harming one innocent, is to condemn the whole industry.

View attachment 400659
it's for a very specific period of time. the sky is not falling. what you wrote concerned me re: my old PH friends in Zim!
 

Shootist43

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Rookhawk, I'm puzzled. Does Zim. use the same identical test year after year? If so then your viewpoint is correct. If the tests are different but taken from the same body of information, then only the four applicants would be effected. Or am I missing something here. I have no doubt but what some questions are common to all of the exams.

Lon Denny, what do you think about this situation?
 

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Not sure it will taint them for the length of history. I've been to Africa 4 xs going on 5 here this summer and I have never asked my PH what they scored on the examine. I let their history as a PH speak to their credentials.
Maybe the answers went out on that secret Zim PH cat group :A Banana:
 

flatwater bill

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Does it cost money to take the exam? I bet it does. Will they charge a second time?
...................FWB
 

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The Zimbabwe Learners exams have been rescheduled for 1 & 2 June. There will be no charge involved to those who took the test the first time.

The whole incident is unfortunate. One non governmental person was responsible for this taking place in no way should National Parks be considered responsible.
 

rookhawk

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The Zimbabwe Learners exams have been rescheduled for 1 & 2 June. There will be no charge involved to those who took the test the first time.

The whole incident is unfortunate. One non governmental person was responsible for this taking place in no way should National Parks be considered responsible.


Good update @Tokoloshe Safaris . So since the leaker has been identified, have the applicants that received the exam questions also been identified? Or are they assuming that they all cheated? And if so, why would they let cheaters sit an exam again?
 

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Good update @Tokoloshe Safaris . So since the leaker has been identified, have the applicants that received the exam questions also been identified? Or are they assuming that they all cheated? And if so, why would they let cheaters sit an exam again?
Where has it been said that any of the 4 applicants even saw the answers ahead of time?
 

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I have a copy of the exam and answer sheet I picked up years ago in Harare. I've never given it out but I have many offers to buy it, look at it, or send a copy.
 

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Good update @Tokoloshe Safaris . So since the leaker has been identified, have the applicants that received the exam questions also been identified? Or are they assuming that they all cheated? And if so, why would they let cheaters sit an exam again?
I believe the number of applicants that MAY have seen the exam in advance was 4 or about 1% of those taking the exam. The exam is constantly changing no two are the same. Anyone can get copies of exam questions asked in the past, but that does not mean that those questions will be asked in the future.
 

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Hi All, I think a little perspective is needed in situations like these. These incidents happen to exam bodies around the world and no country is immune. People are dishonest everywhere in the world and many exam bodies would rather turn a blind eye.

Researchgate puts the average cheating percentage at UK and US colleges/university at 37.8 %. So if you have used the services of a doctor and a lawyer and an engineer in your life, chances are your car will crash, your insides will fall out or you will lose your shirt in court.

Suddenly 1 % of 1 exam in the last 30 years or last 60 exams in little ole Zim doesn't look so bad !!

National Parks sets Learner Hunter Exams twice a year. The Professional Hunters and Guides Association helps to administer and mark these papers,Each paper is fresh questions although some may be similar to previous years and there are 4 seperate papers over two days. This qualification basically allows a person to conduct plainsgame hunts and guide vehicle game drives. A full PH needs to shoot certain DG, pass an interview with a panel of examiners drawn from ZPHGA and National Parks and then compete a proficiency ( set up camp and take examiners through a hunt as if they were clients)

So the LPH exam is only the first step. And I think the important takeaway is that the crook did not get away with it, they cheaters were caught and did not qualify. They will not be able to get involved in the exam process again. So in my mind, poop happens- they were up front and honest about it and apologized for the incident and hopefully it wont happen again for a long time.
 

rookhawk

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To summarize the paragraphs of Nhoro's post:

A. Cheating happens everywhere.

B. 37.8% of skilled professions have cheated.

C. 1% of 1 exam in Zim cheated.

D. Exams in Zim don't matter much, it was only the first of many steps towards licensure.

E. The cheater didn't get away with it and the cheaters were caught.


HOWEVER, that outline doesn't match any of the public statements from ZPHGA. They had to rob the rights of applicants by canceling all exams because they couldn't prove who saw the exam and who cheated. ZPHGA's actions and statements don't match up with A, B, C, D, and E.

The statement ZPHGA made to me sums up their sentiments, paraphrasing. We'd rather deny all applicants their test scores than to let one crook get away with it. #ethics.

In America, our entire society is built completely the opposite as is evidence by our criminal justice system. Better to let a few murderers get away with it than to arrest or execute a single innocent man.
 

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To summarize the paragraphs of Nhoro's post:

A. Cheating happens everywhere.

B. 37.8% of skilled professions have cheated.

C. 1% of 1 exam in Zim cheated.

D. Exams in Zim don't matter much, it was only the first of many steps towards licensure.

E. The cheater didn't get away with it and the cheaters were caught.


HOWEVER, that outline doesn't match any of the public statements from ZPHGA. They had to rob the rights of applicants by canceling all exams because they couldn't prove who saw the exam and who cheated. ZPHGA's actions and statements don't match up with A, B, C, D, and E.

The statement ZPHGA made to me sums up their sentiments, paraphrasing. We'd rather deny all applicants their test scores than to let one crook get away with it. #ethics.

In America, our entire society is built completely the opposite as is evidence by our criminal justice system. Better to let a few murderers get away with it than to arrest or execute a single innocent man.

Sounds like you having an argument with yourself.....not sure why you are so fkn wound up about this....and as I am sure you will most likely respond....dont expect a response....stick to collecting shit like Saab convertibles or whatever weird cars it was you were thinking were collectable....as I dont know anyone else who does.....cheers from the bush on a Friday night
 

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"faire d’une mouche un éléphant" I admit to being a bit of a Francophile.

To help those prone to suffering from catastrophic beliefs, cognitive tools have been developed to promote ‘de-catastrophising’ (Knaus & Carlson, 2014; Whalley, 2017). It’s well known that acceptance is the first step towards recovery, and the same is true for catastrophic beliefs (Knaus, 2012). Accepting that you experience catastrophic thoughts and not placing blame on yourself is a crucial step towards breaking the cycle. Stopping and reflecting on these thoughts can help you see the bigger picture. Ask yourself what’s actually happening here? Is the leap you’ve made logical? Or are you fixating on something awful yet unlikely? Breaking out of this cycle of blame and judgement is not easy and may require professional help to guide you through de-catastrophising techniques.
Anonymous | 17 May 2021 The Brain Domaine

;) :A Outta:
 

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