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YOUR BUSINESS IS OUR BUSINESS: Fake certificates in TZ economic equation

Thursday June 01 2017

The issue of educational qualifications as they relate to employees in public service in the Government of Tanzania is going viral with much vengeance all round!

Following a directive in late-2016 of the President of the 5th-Phase Government of Tanzania, Dr John Pombe Magufuli, verification (by a Special Presidential Task Force) of the academic credentials of reportedly 400,035 civil servants who draw emoluments from Government coffers unearthed much rot!

The probe revealed that 9,932 public service employees got where they’re today on the back of educational certificates which were/are unsuitable/inappropriate every which way. While, for example, some of the ‘qualification certificates’ were forged outright, others were borrowed, bought, stollen and otherwise obtained from the rightful holders by their ‘new, illegal holders’ who then used/use them to secure employment in Government service! [‘Mwananchi’: April 29 and May 4, 2017].

Another 1,538 academic qualification certificates were each found to have been used by two or more persons to secure Government jobs – while another 11,596 employees had only degree or professional qualifications, but lacked supportive Forms-IV and VI School Certificates. It indeed is unclear how they achieved University and/or vocational/professional qualifications without those intermediate, ‘bridging’ Certificates! That’s to say nothing of the 19,700-plus ‘ghost’ public service workers unveiled last year, who were fraudulently draining $107 million (roughly Sh240bn) annually from public coffers over the years!

Whichever way one looks at it, it stinks to High Heaven – as fake education certificates within the Economic Equation can only be devastating to socio-econo-politi-cultural development!

Indeed, there’re a bazillion oddities in Tanzania’s education qualifications verification exercise whose Findings were ‘presented’ (?) to President Magufuli in Dodoma on April 28! Take, for example, the Ilala District findings – the highest number of fake educational qualifications: 329 out of 9,932 countrywide! [See ‘Jamhuri,’ May 2, 2017, which listed 8,716 names of the fake education qualificaation holders].

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One oddity was that 38 of them – judging by their surnames – are wa-Chagga from Kilimanjaro Region (e.g. No.841: Wilhelmina Raziel LYIMO); 14 were ba-Haya from Kagera Region (e.g. No.690: Kennedy Muganyizi LWIZA)... That’s no mean achievement in a country with 120+tribes...!

In contrasy, ONLY three each are Sukuma-Kurya (e.g. No.667, Joshua Chacha Marwa (Mwanza Region), and Nyakyusa (No.779: Rosemerry Mwakalindile (Mbeya/Songwe Region)...[NOTE: other ‘fake document’ holders couldn’t be so-classified on account of their somewhat odd names. For example: from which parts of Tanzania do Leonardina AGRICOLA (Number 698 on the Ilala List); Maulid Y. KISS (No.735) and Neema Wilson FORWARD (No.752) come? Your guess is as good – or as bad – as mine!].

Another oddity was that at least 267 (roughly 81 per cent) of the 329 Ilala District culprits are women... Boy!

In My Book of Things, intriguing conclusions can be drawn from the two oddities in the Equation... One: There’re so many ba-Chagga and ba-Haya among the 9,932 Govt. service employee culprits basically because they’re naturally-driven by their their compelling hunger for Education. So, if they fail their Primary School exams, they almost invariably turn to fake, counterfeit, borrowed/stollen – and even Certificates purchased under-the-table – which enable them to attain further/higher academic qualifications that lead to lucrative jobs!

Two: So many women (as exemplified in the Ilala District findings) resort to ‘underhand’ academic qualifications in their very noble desire to correct long-standing gender imbalances – leading to gender-equality in the interests of natural/human/constitutional rights this side of Hades!

Finally: why’d (for example) gatekeepers, drivers, etc, need (say) Form-IV Education Certificates so as to be employed in Govt... and NOT MPs, who only need to be able to read and write ki-Swahili OR English to qualify for election/appointment to the Union Parliament? (Union Constitution Article 67(1)(a)).

Shouldn’t the reverse be the case?