KDF warns of conmen as recruitment drive kicks off

Kenya Defence Forces Vice Chief Lt Gen Joseph Kasaon and Chief Recruiting Officer Brig Muthuri Kiugu at the Department of Defence headquarters in Nairobi yesterday. Military recruitment began across the country yesterday with a warning about fraudsters looking to dupe unsuspecting Kenyans.? (PHOTO: ELVIS OGINA/ STANDARD)

Military recruitment began across the country yesterday with a warning about fraudsters looking to dupe unsuspecting Kenyans. The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) is seeking to recruit more than 2,000 general recruits, constabularies and tradesmen in the exercise that will end on October 18.

Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Joseph Kasaon warned of conmen waiting to obtain money under the pretext of helping Kenyans to join the military.

“The recruitment exercise will be conducted in all constituencies and is free of charge. We do not tolerate corruption so let Kenyans be warned of the cons out there,” he said.

He said they had invited various organisations including the National Intelligence Service, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and civil society bodies such as Transparency International to observe the exercise in efforts to ensure transparency.

 Various measures

Lt Gen Kasaon said cases of corruption during recruitment programmes were on the decline due to various measures put in place. He said last year, there were five cases of corruption involving five people and Sh2 million was paid in bribes compared to 2014 when 16 people were involved and Sh4 million changed hands.

“All those involved were arrested and their cases are in different stages of prosecution by both the military and civilian police,” he said.

Kasaon spoke at the Kenya Army headquarters when he launched the exercise yesterday.

Those seeking to join as general recruits must have scored a mean grade of D-plain and above in their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams, and be aged between 18 and 26 years. Constabularies should be former KDF members with at least nine years’ colour service and no criminal record, and aged below 55 years. KDF is looking for various tradesmen with diplomas in various disciplines.

In Kieni East, hundreds of men braved the morning cold and strong winds to try their luck. Lt Col Mathew Lenamunai said female recruits were not invited because they would be picked from other sub-counties within Nyeri County.

“During last year’s recruitment, we picked female recruits from Kieni East. The turn will now go to other areas,” he said.

Apart from normal field exercises, the recruits participated in a road race where one potential recruit was disqualified for failing to follow the official route.

The recruitment team heads to Mweiga Stadium in Kieni West sub-county for a similar exercise today.

Meanwhile, few women turned up for recruitment at Kibos Primary School in Kisumu East. About 300 men showed up and only 30 women by 8am yesterday.

Team Nine’s Lt Cannon Wario Roba said the turn out of women was low because by the time they were releasing the potential recruits to run, only four were left.

In every location in Kisumu East, five men were picked for the medical examination while all four women qualified for this stage.

—Report by Cyrus Ombati, Job Weru and Maureen Odiwuor