37 forest ranger recruits were on Friday arrested at the National Youth Service (NYS) Paramilitary Academy in Gilgil, Nakuru County, for submitting fake Academic certificates during their application process.
A police report seen by Kenyans.co.ke indicated that the recruits were identified after a thorough investigation of the certificates conducted by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), upon the request of Appolinary Mwandigha, Kenya Forest Service Commanding Officer.
It was established that out of 2,700 Academic certificates, 37 were found to be fake.
In turn, detectives from Gilgil Police Station apprehended the 37 recruits who were undergoing training at the NYS Academy.
President William Ruto presides over the parade at the National Youth Service Paramilitary Academy in Gilgil, Nakuru County on March 3, 2023.
The suspects, aged between 22 years and 28 years, were placed in custody for committing three offences namely forgery which contravened section 347 of the penal code, making a document without Authority and uttering a false document which went against section 357 of the penal code.
“Any person who knowingly and fraudulently utters a false document is guilty of an offence of the same kind and is liable to the same punishment as if he had forged the thing in question,” read part of Section 257 of the penal code.
The case casts a shadow over the integrity of the recruitment procedure and highlights the need for more background checks and verification measures in the hiring process.
According to the latest data from the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA), over 250,000 Kenyans who work in the civil service sector possess fake certificates.
The certificates cuts across Primary, High School and Tertiary levels of education.
According to KNQA, the data forms three per cent of the country’s workforce, indicating the dire situation of the country.
Further, the Authority revealed that its mandate to nab the suspects was frustrated with the court system in the country.
To prevent the menace, KNQA Director-General Juma Mukhwana said that they were working in collaboration with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and launch a crackdown on the dishonest lot.
A photo of a university degree with a fraud stamp.