Refund public funds or face prosecution, Ruto warns officers with fake credentials

President William Ruto speaking during the 2024 National Wage Bill Conference at Bomas of Kenya. [PCS}

President William Ruto has directed all civil servants implicated in salary receipt through fake certificates to reimburse the government, instructing the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to intervene if resistance occurs.

Ruto's directive follows the revelation by the Public Service Commission (PSC) that over 2,000 public officers secured positions, promotions, and re-designations within the government using counterfeit credentials.

Addressing attendees at the 2024 National Wage Bill Conference held at Bomas, the President reiterated his administration's firm stance against individuals benefiting from public funds through fraudulent means.

"The 2,100 individuals identified who have been receiving government wages must repay the funds they received. Otherwise, the EACC and DCI must act swiftly to recover public resources expended on these individuals," said Ruto.

He continued, stressing that those employed in government roles with fake academic certificates should resign immediately, as there will be no leniency moving forward.

Ruto labeled such actions as the highest form of impunity.

The President also urged government officials with fake credentials to utilise resources allocated for education to obtain legitimate qualifications, saying that this step would alleviate major challenges within the public sector caused by inadequate qualifications among staff.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua echoed his boss’ sentiments, highlighting that individuals in leadership positions, including department heads and governors, are among those lacking proper certifications.

Gachagua outlined a government program dubbed Recognition of Prior Learning, which allows individuals to obtain certification based on their skills and competencies, rather than traditional academic credentials.

"If you believe your skills and competencies warrant certification, there's no need for fraudulent certificates. Our Recognition of Prior Learning program assesses your abilities and awards certification accordingly," explained Gachagua.