Nurses get 21 days to fight fake papers case

Kakamega branch Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) secretary Renson Bulunya addressing journalists in Kakamega.
The county government has suspended 11 nurses on suspicion that they got their jobs using forged academic papers.

Health Executive Rachael Okumu said the County Public Service Board (CPSB ) was conducting an exercise to establish the authenticity of all workers’ certificates.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) Kakamega Secretary Renson Bulunya said the affected nurses had been given 21 days to respond to the accusations.

“The show-cause letters were issued two weeks ago, which means the affected members have seven days to shed light on the queries raised about their academic qualifications,” Mr Bulunya said.

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He noted that none of the affected nurses had been sacked. “They are still on payroll and will continue earning half their basic salary and house allowance until they are cleared of the forgery claims.”

Bulunya said the investigations began six months ago after the CPSB started looking into staff qualifications.

“Initially, all that our members needed to produce was a professional certificate from the Kenya Medical Training College. But the probe was extended to high school qualifications after it was suspected some staff had altered their grades to secure enrolment in college.”

Ms Okumu said that they were working with the Kenyan National Examinations Council to verify the workers’ certificates.

But Bulunya wondered why it had taken the county government years to discover that some workers might possess forged academic papers.

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“The employer has the burden of proof. We would like to see adequate evidence adduced in this matter because it will be unfair to intimidate our members over fabricated claims,” he said.

The official also assured that the union would not interfere with the investigations, which he described as a “purely administrative matter”.

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