Fake academic papers probe: EACC summons 143 Kisii County staff

Panic has gripped Kisii County employees after officials from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) summoned 143 employees for presenting questionable academic qualifications to secure employment in the public office.

In a letter addressed to the County Secretary and Head of Public Service, Kisii County Government, the EACC Regional Manager, Ms Ruth Yator, on behalf of the EACC Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, urged the official to ensure that the named employees appear before the investigators to record statements.

The summoning of such a large number of public servants has sent shivers down the spines of the workers named in the monumental academic document fraud.

The letter seen by the Nation, entitled “Request to attend investigative interviews”, lists the names of the 143 people who are to be investigated.

The letter reads: “The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is a statutory body established under Section 3 of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act, 2011 with a mandate to combat and prevent corruption, economic crimes and unethical conduct in Kenya through law enforcement, prevention, public education and promotion of standards and practices of integrity, ethics and anti-corruption.”

The EACC urged the CS to ensure that its officers named in the letter are facilitated to comply with the summons without fail.

“To facilitate this investigation, please inform the following officers to appear before our investigators at our South Nyanza Regional Office, Kisii, along the Kisii-Kilgoris road on the date and time indicated against their names,” the summons read.

Among those affected are those who worked in the last regime of Governor James Ongwae and enjoyed plum positions in various departments.

A report by the Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM) also revealed that some employees of the Kisii County government used fake certificates to seek employment.

The report, which was made public last year at Gusii Stadium by IHRM Executive Director Queresha Abdullahi, was handed over to Kisii Governor Simba Arati for action.

Ms Abdullahi said they conducted the audit after receiving a letter of engagement in October 2022 from the then County Secretary, Mr Patrick Lumumba.

“We also conducted the verification of certificates through the Kenya National Examinations Council. Given the nature of this report as it touches on individuals and its sensitivity, we are leaving it with the Governor for him to take it up with the stakeholders and the relevant authorities,” said the HR professional.

Ms Abdullahi, who was accompanied by other senior members of her team, pleaded with Governor Arati to ensure that the report is implemented so that Kisii residents get value for money.

“When we did this audit, it’s important to note that we went above and beyond to ensure that everybody who was on the payroll turned up and completed the headcount process. We have 1,314 ghost workers,” Ms Abdullahi said.

Mr Arati expressed dismay, noting that he would not be intimidated by anyone and that he, along with other authorities in the district, would implement the report to the letter.

He said the money wasted could have been used to improve service delivery to Kisii residents.

“They can call me all the names they want. I am vindicated. They can write whatever they want on social media but here is the report on our sick county that needs to be fixed,” Mr Arati said.


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