The Kenya National Examinations Council's (KNEC) board was on Thursday dissolved over the irregularities that marred national examinations in 2015.
Former University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Prof George Magoha was appointed the new chairman of the board, with immediate effect.
He replaces Prof Kabiru Kinyanjui, who was sacked.
The government also ordered the arrest of the council’s chief executive officer Joseph Kivilu and eight other senior officer over examination irregularities.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Interior counterpart Joseph Nkaissery said preliminary investigations had revealed complicity, irregularities and illegitimate activities on a number of fronts within and outside the council.
Major-General (Rtd) Nkaissery ordered the arrest of the council's top management led by Dr Kivilu, Ms Ambia G. Noor, the senior deputy secretary(examination), Maundu Mantenzawa - deputy secretary (security) and Thomas MacKenzie, the principal examinations secretary.
Others are Ms Sarah Majani who is the senior deputy secretary for reprographics, Bobby Nyagah Mwai (senior deputy secretary), Geoffrey Gitogo, the senior deputy secretary in charge of ICT, Michael Ndua (principal supply chain management officer) and Richard Mwangangi, a deputy secretary.
The two Cabinet secretaries said the officers were involved in examination irregularities that saw the results of about 2,709 KCPE candidates and 5,100 KCSE candidates cancelled.
“Some of the officers at the council are under investigations over examination printing scam known as chickengate’. Surely we cannot allow the institution such as important as this to be run that way,” said Dr Matiang’i.
The Interior Cabinet Secretary said a security review of the management of the examination had revealed a need for deep reforms in the council.
“We reviewed the planning and execution of the national examinations and we found that there are a lot of discrepancies,” he said.
Mr Nkaissery went on: “Examination cheating is criminal. We have decided that, we want to restore credibility and reduce criminality in examination, and have discussed with the IG that those involved be arrested immediately and record a statement.
"Those arrested should show course why legal action should not be taken against them.”