The government has announced plans to crack down on civil servants holding fake academic papers.
A preliminary assessment by the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) revealed that three in every 10 civil servants may have used forged certificates to gain employment in public service. This translates to about 250,000 out of the 865,000 civil servants.
“This audit is a program that will start as soon as the next financial year. If we find that you used a fake certificate to get employment in civil service, then you are liable to return what you have earned all those years, three-fold. You are also liable to criminal prosecution,” said KNQA director-general Dr. Juma Mukhwana
The agency will partner with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to weed out the culprits.
“Our estimate is that 30 percent of the certificates are fake. It is very unfair that I sit in a university for four years, and someone else just gets a similar certificate in five minutes. You even find some cases where one has a degree purported to have been acquired long before he supposedly cleared his secondary education,” Mukhwama added.
KNQA has also developed an anonymous portal where members of the public can report those they suspect of holding fake certificates.
“You have cases where someone claims to have a university degree from outside Kenya, yet they have never owned a passport. So, how did you get your certificate from that university abroad, then? Those kinds of things where no online learning was involved. Or sometimes you have a passport, but no study visa. Same thing. How then were you there for four years with no visa?” Dr Mukhwana posed.
Mukhwana was speaking on the sidelines of a conference on research and innovation for sustainable development at Eldoret National Polytechnic.