Petitioner Moves to Scrap off Police Certificate as Job Requirement 

  • Jobseekers queue on Wabera Street, Nairobi, as they wait to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.
    Jobseekers queue on Wabera Street, Nairobi, as they wait to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.
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  • A petition has been presented in Parliament seeking to abolish the police clearance certificate as a requirement during job applications.

    If the petition is approved, job seekers with past criminal records will not be compelled to produce the certificate. 

    Currently, the law stipulates that those with a criminal history cannot apply for a government job until after the lapse of a 20-year period.

    National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi during a past sitting.
    National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi during a past sitting.
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    The petitioner Susan Wangui of Kirinyaga County, however, argues that the requirement infringes on one's constitutional right. 

    She added that scrapping the requirement would act as an avenue for rehabilitation and encourage diversity in the job market. 

    "Such exposure is unfair since the job seeker might have committed the offense as an ignorant minor or may have been wrongly convicted and jailed for offenses that he or she never committed, particularly in the absence of a good lawyer to defend him or her in court," National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi, stated as he presented the petition to the House. 

    Muturi referred the matter to the departmental committee on Administration and National Security in order to consider the petition and later report its findings to the House.

    "The petitioner views this requirement as discriminatory since most employers may use the Police Clearance Certificate as a basis for disqualifying job seekers having criminal records irrespective of their academic and other qualifications," Muturi stated.

    The petition also provided reference to Indiana in the USA, as well as the United Kingdom where select non-violent felonies are scrapped from the offenders' records after a few years. 

    Kenyans are expected to provide a number of certificates as a requirement during job applications.

    Apart from the police clearance, other certificates include the Higher Education Loans Board Compliance Certificate, Tax Compliance Certificate, Credit Reference Bureau Certificate, and also the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Certificate.

    A file example of a police clearance certificate
    A file example of a police clearance certificate
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