, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – A month long recruitment of 2,500 service members (men and women) and constabularies to join the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has started.
The exercise will be conducted by 16 teams in the 288 districts in all 47 counties.
Vice Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe who conducted the briefing on the hiring, says the recruitment teams will be overseen by the Chief of Defence Forces Julius Karangi, who in turn has nominated Brigadier John Mwangi as the Chief Recruiting Officer to lead the 16 teams.
“The recruitment shall only be conducted from 8am to 5pm. Unsuccessful candidates will be informed of their shortcomings in general and successful candidates will be notified and issued with calling letters immediately. This exercise is open to scrutiny by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other oversight bodies,” Mwathethe said.
He warned Kenyans against engaging in corrupt activities to influence the recruiting teams in their favour, pointing out that the exercise was free.
He further issued a stern warning to KDF recruiting officers against seeking incentives as severe action would be meted upon anyone found guilty.
“We are aware that many young Kenyans wishing to join KDF have in the past been vulnerable to fraudsters who masquerade as military officers with powers to employ. We ask them to stay away from such people,” he warned.
He further urged the public to report any corruption cases to the nearest police station or call the Kenya Defence Forces directly on 0726-419-709.
“Harsh, swift, disciplinary action will be taken upon any KDF member who is found involved in this malpractice. If we receive a report about your malpractices, we conduct thorough investigations then we deal you very swiftly,” Mwathethe warned.
He cited various corruption cases that have since been reported since 2009/2010 which witnessed the highest number of misconduct.
According to KDF records, the 2009/2010 recruitment drive saw 57 cases of bribery reported, 23 servicemen having received over Sh4.1 million with 34 civilians getting approximately Sh14 million.
In the 2013/2014 year there were 19 graft cases reported involving Sh4.8 million.
He attributed the decline in number of graft cases to stringent laws and procedures that have been introduced and the fact that KDF offenders found guilty of engaging in corrupt activities in the previous cases were punished hence serving as an example to their colleagues.
Despite the low morale experienced in past recruitment areas especially due to the war in Somalia and fear for the attacks that have befallen the security forces, Mwathethe was confident that they would get a high turn-out as there were many Kenyans who desired to join the forces.
“KDF speaks for itself, what it does… people feel free to join the KDF because it is a calling if you want to defend this country,” Mwathethe added.
KDF will also be recruiting constabularies, service members who have served in the force but have retired; they must however be below 52 years of age, with a very good testimonial or in the military assessment must have been graded very well.