Winstone Chiseremi @Wchiseremi
About 80 people were arrested yesterday at the Moi Barracks Recruits Training College in Eldoret after they presented fake calling letters from the Kenya Defence Force.
The recruits, among them 12 women, claimed they were issued the letters by persons posing as military officers after paying Sh300,000 each with promise of a slot in the forces.
KDF spokesperson Lt-Col Paul Njuguna said KDF has handed the suspects over to the directorate of Criminal Investigations in Eldoret for further action.
The suspects were later transported to Eldoret Police Station ahead of arraignment.
He warned many youth intending to join KDF against dealing with conmen by availing themselves for the recruitment at the designated recruitment centres spread across the country.
“Last year, we detected about 60 cases of youths presenting fake calling letters and this year that number has increased,” said Njuguna.
Addressing the press at the school in Eldoret, Njuguna said one of the suspects was conned Sh300,000 in the morning at the forces gate after he was promised a slot in the KDF.
He said it was illegal for any member of the public to give out money to any KDF officer to secure a slot in the forces, warning that those found engaging in the vice will be arrested and prosecuted.
“Despite KDF making the public aware that there were no monetary requirements for recruitment into the KDF, some youths were still falling prey to con men who demand money from them with the promise of being helped to join the forces,” he said.
Last November, KDF kicked off a month-long recruitment. The forces sent a warning saying anyone who will commit any offence during the exercise, stern action will be taken against them.
It also warned the public against fraudsters who call potential recruits asking them to pick their letters away from recruitment centres.
Cases of corruption during police and military recruitment are rampant but have in the recent years been going down have due to measures been put in place. In 2016, there were five cases of corruption involving five people.
At least Sh2 million was paid in bribes compared to 2014, when 16 people were involved and Sh4 million transacted. In 2013, Sh5 million was paid in bribes by various parties.