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Is firm recruiting 20,000 job seekers a fraud?

Glaring inconsistencies have emerged in the ongoing recruitment of over 20,000 Kenyans by an organisation that has offered to create the jobs.

Some of the applicants have been offered two or three jobs each, with appointment letters indicating that they will be working in different stations.

The jobs, some of which have curious titles, such as Assistant Single Parent Manager and Assistant Widowed/Widower Manager, are being offered by an organisation known as East Africa Sub Saharan Africa Safe Promotion International (SSASP International).

 

The organisation invited some of the applicants to a meeting at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday where its CEO, Mr Julius Kithome, promised them that their lives would never be the same again.

The organisation claimed to be working in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and Devolution.

NOT REGISTERED

However, Mr Brown Kutswa, speaking for the ministry, said the organisation was not registered and was operating illegally.

“It cannot be working with us,” said Mr Kutswa. “The Directorate of Criminal Investigations should investigate the matter.”

One of the applicants interviewed by the Nation yesterday said he was issued with two appointment letters, one as a Regional Unit Cluster Manager and another as a Youth Development Manager, in two different counties.

Some of the selected candidates who spoke to the Nation said that they had neither applied for the jobs nor sat for any interviews with SSASP International, although they were offered jobs and their names published as beneficiaries.

There were no clear job descriptions for those who have already received their appointment letters. A few typographical errors were also noted in the letters. In one, a sentence under ‘Remuneration’ reads: “The above salary is inclusive of all allowances and no fridge (sic) benefits whatsoever may be expected.”

Other candidates said there have been several changes and cancellations of the dates they were to start work.

HAPHAZARD INTERVIEWS

For instance, on May 28 and 29, interviews were conducted at St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Kibuye. Those who attended claimed that there was no organisation, and that the interviews were conducted haphazardly.

All the applicants who were interviewed for positions in Bondo region were posted to other regions.

“The managers claimed that a former senior government official had interfered with the recruitment,” said a woman who was among those interviewed.

In Nyanza, at least 10 teachers and county employees had resigned from their jobs to join the NGO but were yet to start work. In one school, three teachers resigned after receiving their appointment letters.

Some applicants had each been asked to pay Sh300 for badges that would allow them access into the stadium. They were required to have paid the money through M-Pesa by August 24. Those who failed to meet the deadline were required to pay Sh700.

A message from one of the purported managers to the applicants read: “Hello colleagues. Kindly send to this number Sh300 for the Kasarani entry badges during the launching on 30th August. Deadline for remission is on 24th August. This is only for Suna East.”

EMPOWER PEOPLE

Those who were asked to pay for the badges had earlier in the year been informed that the programme would be launched in Nairobi on July 26 and that it was likely to be attended by US President Barack Obama — who was in Kenya on that day — and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

A day to the function, however, they were told that the launch had been cancelled.

In an interview with Nation FM on Monday, Mr Kithome, said his organisation’s mission was to empower people socially and economically.

Regarding the NGOs Coordinating Board’s claims that the organisation was defrauding Kenyans and that it was not partnering with the Ministry of Devolution, Mr Kithome said that his people were on the ground and that they had recruited candidates from all the 47 counties.