19 March 2017

Kenya: Fake University Papers Racket Unearthed

Photo: The Nation
(File photo) CUE chief executive David Some at Panari Hotel, Nairobi, on March 7 during a workshop on education. A report by CUE questioned storage and printing of certificates. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A racket that involves production of fake and backdated degree certificates has been unearthed.

The degrees are from Inoorero University which was shut by higher education regulator in 2015 and granted a two years to enable its continuing students to finish their programmes after it was declared bankrupt.

Behind the scheme is a top administrator with the university who is now under investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

The investigation is as a result of concerns raised by an airline in Africa operating in Nairobi which discovered that one of its top employee's in accounts had a 'suspicious' degree certificate.

And to compound the situation, another graduate from the university was found with a fake degree certificate.

The racket shows the determination by some Kenyans, among them top politicians, to have certificates despite not having stepped in class.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

The airline had hired a private company to carry out background checks and verifications of staff qualifications following a staff audit last year.

"It came to our attention that the verdict of one of the degrees presented and issued by Inoorero University was unverifiable," said the letter dated March 15 and addressed to DCI director Ndegwa Muhoro and copied to Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i.

The airline noted that during the investigations, it emerged that the admission number of the staff while at the university belonged to a different person."The comparison of the signature of the deputy vice-chancellor for academic affairs issued on the same date for another candidate differs from hers. That the fonts on her certificate differ from those of other degrees issued at Inoorero University," states the letter.

The graduation list for that particular graduation ceremony did not have the name of the employee.

"We also sought for verification from the university's transition office and a senior official confirmed that the degree was valid," said the airline.

INVESTIGATE ALLEGED FRAUD

It goes on: " In view of the above, we have strong grounds to request DCI to investigate this alleged fraud. It seems as if there is a racket to issue degree certificates and back date them. The same signatory also appears on the certificate," says the letter.

And in a response to the airline, the senior official confirmed that the person was admitted to the university in September 2011 to pursue Bachelor of Commerce.

The revelation comes in the wake of a report by Commission for University Education (CUE) which questioned the way certificates in universities were being printed and stored.

Last year police netted fake academic certificates purported to have been issued by Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute, a forged Kenyatta University degree certificate in Criminology and security studies.

CUE chief executive officer David Some asked all employers to consult in in case they are recruiting graduates from the university.

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