EACC probes Kenya Ports Authority over job scam

A newly built container terminal at the Port of Mombasa in 2016. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A newly built container terminal at the Port of Mombasa in 2016. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is investigating an alleged irregular recruitment of hundreds of security officers at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

EACC has written to the KPA managing director, Catherine Mturi, to facilitate a team of its investigators to carry out the investigations expeditiously.

In the letter dated March 3 this year, the agency requested Ms Mturi to provide an assorted copies of certified documents allegedly used in the irregular employment of the security officers between 2015/16 and 2016/2017 financial years.

The EACC listed eight different documents, which it asked the KPA boss to provide to facilitate the probe into the alleged recruitment scam suspected to have taken place on diverse dates between 2015 and 2017.

“This commission is investigating alleged irregular recruitment of security officers… To facilitate our investigation, kindly provide us with certified copies of the following documents,” added the letter.

Job descriptions

Among the documents required by Halake Waqo-led commission include job description and specification for security officers, advertisement for the post of security officer, list of all applicants, shortlisted and successful candidates.

Also needed in the investigation are interviewing committee minutes, requisition for employment of security officers from the department within the two financial years.

EACC also requested Ms Mturi to provide minutes of the KPA board of directors meeting approving the recruitment of security officers between 2015 and 2017 and list of all employees in that department, their personal numbers and any other document that may assist in the investigations.

In January, KPA issued a public statement dismissing a security job advertisement that was being circulated on social media and warned members of the public not to be conned.

In a newspaper notice, KPA's general manager for human resource and administration, Amani Komora, said they were concerned about widespread cases of fraudsters swindling money from the public on the pretext of offering them harbour jobs.

“This has reference to earlier public notices, the latest being on 2nd January 2017, regarding misinformation on recruitment at the Kenya Ports Authority,” said Dr Komora in the statement.

He added: “The management still notes with great concern that despite these notices warning the public to be wary of fraudsters/conmen who are taking advantage of the innocent public extort money in the premise of security employment at the authority, many continue to fall victim of this manipulation.”

Social media

Dr Komora said KPA does not conduct its recruitment on social media platforms including Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter and urged members of the public to disregard such job advertisement associated with KPA.

“The same will be advertised in the local dailies and on the official KPA website. We therefore strongly caution the public against relying on matters of employment at the authority,” he added.

However, a section of Mombasa MPs had alleged at that time, that KPA was involved in a secret recruitment drive claiming jobs were offered to “outsiders.”

Jomvu MP Badi Twalib claimed at a function outside Mombasa County Assembly hall that whereas thousands of Mombasa youths have no jobs, people associated with well-connected people in the government were being hired secretly at the state corporation.

“We are aware that KPA is involved in secret recruitment where people outside Mombasa are being offered jobs while we face a high unemployment level,” said Mr Twalib.