Hundreds of Judiciary staff are being investigated for allegedly using fake academic papers to get employment, the Nation has learned.
Ms Anne Amadi, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, confirmed that the institution had commissioned a company to carry out an audit on the authenticity of its employees’ academic papers. She, however, declined to name the company.
Ms Amadi said the process was still ongoing and could not give a definite number on how many employees had been found with questionable certificates.
“The consultant did their bit and it is also important to verify from the affected colleagues whether these findings are indeed correct,” she said.
The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary said: “We have communicated to all the staff and they have given us their responses. We have not looked at all the responses yet so we cannot really say the extent to which those findings were correct but we will be able to share at a later stage once we are done. The commission will then make a decision”.
However, other sources within the Judiciary said that the auditor took issue with academic certificates of at least 500 employees.
Ms Amadi said the Judiciary had been prompted into carrying out the audit when it established that some of the clerks it hired last year had forged documents.
“We had to replace them,” she said.
Efforts to reach Justice Mohammed Warsame, who chairs the human resource committee of the Judicial Service Commission, did not bear fruit as he was said to be out of the country.
“As an institution, we are keen on accountability in every sense. And, therefore, we are trying to ensure that our structures are right and that we have the right people, with the right qualifications to help us in the transformation process,” Ms Amadi said about the audit.
In recent times, cases of employees using fake degrees to gain employment have been on the rise, situation that has in turn thrust into the spotlight universities that issued them. The most recent case is that of a 50-year-old Form One drop-out from Uganda who has held senior positions in private and government institutions allegedly on the strength of fake certificates.
A court heard that for 26 years, the man, who goes by the names Moses Otieno Obiero, Nobert Muhoro Ikundo, Hope Lubega and Robert Mwanyalo, used forged degree and postgraduate certificates to secure employment in 10 organisations.
Early this month, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission disqualified Thuo Mathenge from the Nyeri County governor’s seat race, saying he presented fake academic certificates.
Other politicians with long-running court battles over the authenticity of their academic certificates include Hassan Joho and Ferdinand Waititu who are vying for the Mombasa and Kiambu governor’s seats respectively. Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi is also facing charges of forging documents he presented to the electoral commission for clearance to vie for the seat in 2013.
Individuals seeking to run for President, Deputy President, county governor, or deputy governor are required by law to possess a degree from a recognised university, while those running for MP and MCA posts must hold post-secondary school qualifications.
In January of last year, the Commission for University Education revoked PhDs awarded to five students by Kisii University in December 2014.
Last month, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, in a public notice, revoked degree certificates it had awarded to 16 students due to fraud and other examination malpractices.
The certificates were recalled after it emerged that some of the recipients had graduated despite having pending cases, some sat examinations despite not being eligible, while others had forged their certificates by colluding with some staff at the university.
In November of last year, it was revealed that Ronald Kiprotich Melly had used forged academic papers of University of Nairobi to secure employment as a doctor.