Kenya National Qualifications Authority director-general Juma Mukhwana speaks at a past event in Nairobi. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG
About 30 percent of all academic certificates are either fake, falsified or somehow tempered with, the Industry Principal Secretary nominee told Parliament.
Dr Juma Mukhwana, the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) director-general, said an attempt by the authority to clean up the mess was blocked by a court order.
He said a survey conducted by the KNQA revealed that about 30 percent of academic papers are falsified, fake or have been tampered with somehow.
Universities regulator Commission for University Education (CUE) has raised the alarm over the increased use of fake degrees to secure employment in an economy with a shortage of openings in the job market.
Appearing before the Trade Committee for vetting, the PS nominee said the KNQA had linked its system with the Immigration Department, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of the August 9 General Election but somebody moved to court and blocked its rollout.
The rollout of the system was stopped by the court on grounds of want of public participation.
“Our hands were tied and we could not clean up the mess,” he told the committee chaired by Embakasi North MP James Gakuya.
The KNQA director general said the agency was determined to weed out fake academic papers but the court stopped the clean-up.
The nominee said the KNQA has a policy where all its employees must have their documents authenticated before one secures a job.
Several politicians including Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja faced scrutiny over their academic papers after the Commission University Education challenged the authenticity of their degrees.
The court later cleared Mr Sakaja to vie for the Nairobi governor seat with a degree certificate from a Ugandan institution, Team University.
A degree is a mandatory requirement for anyone seeking a governor seat in Kenya.
Appearing before the Trade Committee for vetting separately, Abubakar Hassan Abubakar, the Principal Secretary nominee for Investment Promotion told MPs that he targets to increase diaspora remittances by at least 10 percent annually from the current Sh300 billion.
Mr Abubakar, the current director of Market Operations at the Capital Markets Authority told lawmakers that Kenya can attract more remittances.
He said he would seek to scale up diaspora inflows by targeting new areas of attracting foreign direct investment.
“I intend to increase this by 10 percent annually. By the end of five years, we should be receiving Sh600 billion,” he told MPs.
“We will ensure as a government that 50 percent of the diaspora remittances are channelled to investments. If this is done, we will have positioned diaspora remittances as a pillar of growth.”
To attract foreign direct investments, Mr Abubakar said Kenya must have a predictable tax policy.
He said the country needs to move away from the practice of changing tax measures every year.
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