EACC exposes 5 categories of academic certificates fraud in national, county governments

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 28 Jul, 2023 10:43 | 3 mins read
EACC Deputy CEO Abdi Mohamud
EACC Deputy CEO Abdi Mohamud. PHOTO/@EACCKenya/Twitter

The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) has raised an alarm over an upsurge in fake academic certificates in the country.

Appearing before the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee of the National Assembly on Thursday, July 27, a delegation from EACC led by Deputy CEO Abdi Mohamud told the MPs that academic fraud is a threat to the integrity of the country’s education system.

The anti-graft body said it had identified at least five categories of academic fraud in both the national and county governments from the reports received and investigations undertaken so far.

According to the commission some of the suspects probed were found to have altered their high school grades on their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) Certificates in order to 'attain' the requisite qualifications for gaining entry into the universities or other higher learning institutions.

The second category is that of persons who get admission to university programs but for unknown reasons fail to complete their studies and then forge degree or diploma certificates to secure employment.

The third category is that of individuals who enrol for university programs, complete their studies, and graduate but alter their degree/diploma classification for example from Second Class Lower Division to First Class or Second Class Upper Division.

The other category is of those individuals who do not undertake any post-secondary education but forge degree or diplomas certificates to use in securing employment and/or admission for postgraduate courses such as Master's degrees.

EACC also raised an alarm over individuals personating people named on academic certificates to either apply for admission to higher learning institutions or seek employment as though they were the persons named on the certificates.

"This is where the fraudsters use qualifications belonging to other persons," EACC said, further blaming employers for the upsurge in the menace.

"Employers, just like universities and colleges, bear significant blame for the menace of forgery of academic certificates in public service. Some workers secure employment, promotions, or university admissions using fake certificates with the full knowledge and/or support of their employers or the universities, as the case may be."

EACC said employers and learning institutions hold the key to ending academic fraud in the country.

"Employers should always undertake sufficient background checks on the academic certificates submitted by job candidates to authenticate the same with the issuing institutions. Further, job adverts should require applicants to have their academic certificates certified by issuing institutions," EACC said.

"Universities and colleges should play a proactive role by establishing strong internal controls that would enable early detection of fake academic certificates submitted by prospective students seeking admission for undergraduate, postgraduate, or other courses."

The parliamentary committee had invited the Commission to provide a progress report on the discharge of its mandate of fighting corruption and promotion of ethics in Kenya.

The commission also appraised the MPs on the progress made, challenges encountered, and lessons learnt under the Commission’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023, which expired on June 30, 2023.

EACC's crackdown against forgery

The EACC has intensified a crackdown on state officers linked to forgery in recent months.

In April, EACC officers arrested a Garissa University official for allegedly forging his academic certificates to secure employment in the public institution.

EACC said Abdihakim Dagane Hassan forged a Business Information Technology degree certificate and transcripts from Mt Kenya University.

Hassan is accused of securing employment as a Senior Computer Technologist at the university using the forged academic papers.

He later secured admission and pursued a Master's degree in Business Administration (Management Information Systems) at Kenyatta University using the same papers, EACC said.

"He was arrested after the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) concurred with recommendations to charge him with forgery, deceiving principal, uttering false documents and giving false information to a person employed in the public service," EACC said.

Related Topics