The Senate Committee on Labour and Social Welfare on Tuesday gave several recommendations after concluding investigations into the operations of First Choice Recruitment and Consulting Agency which has been accused of scamming Kenyans by presenting non-existent job opportunities to them.
Speaking on the floor of the house, Committee Chairperson, Julius Murgor said that numerous Kenyans who had submitted petitions to the committee had complained about losing money to the agency owned by Judy Chepchirchir who enjoys strong political connections.
The committee recommended that the agency be slapped with an ultimatum; either to refund the money within a month or the owner; Mrs. Chepchirchir to lose her property.
First Choice Recruitment and Consulting Agency is accused of promising jobs to at least 5,000 young Kenyans from Eldoret before the start of the 2022 World Cup.
Photo of Kenya Senate
Parliament of Kenya
The committee also called upon the Assets Recovery Authority (ARA) to repossess the agency’s property as well as those owned by Chepchirchir and her associates if the money is not refunded within the stipulated timeframe.
The committee further directed the relevant bodies to freeze Chepchirchir accounts if she fails to heed the directive.
Murgor disclosed that the committee also agreed to let the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) confiscate the passports belonging to the agency’s directors.
Part of the proposals include blocking the agency’s directors from registering or operating any recruitment agency in the country.
The committee also asked the Ministry of Labour to issue a public notice directing that unethical recruitment agencies be banned from operating in Kenya.
“The board of the National Employment should be disbanded and reconstituted,” he added.
Murgor further asked the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate all the politicians and business people involved in the scam and table a report within three months.
Some of the politicians linked to the scandal include Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago and SMEs Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui.
He urged the relevant authorities to be strict when enforcing the law on such matters to protect gullible Kenyans from losing money.
A photo of the EACC headquarters, at Integrity House in Nairobi.