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Thousands of vacancies in Kenya’s forest service? Yes, but fee-for-jobs ad is a scam

IN SHORT: The Kenya Forest Service is recruiting, but you do not have to pay to apply. Disregard any social media ads asking you to do this.

An advert for forest rangers, forest assistants and supervisor jobs in the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has been posted on Facebook.

KFS develops and conserves the country’s forests.

The ad, posted on 8 February 2023, links to a Google form that says there are 4,150 vacancies. 

But the maths doesn't add up – the form says there are 3,700 ranger vacancies (and 4,500 vacancies for assistants and supervisors), while the Facebook post says “over 4,000” rangers are needed.

According to the ad, applicants must be Kenyan citizens, have at least a D+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education and be at least  5’6” tall for men (168 centimetres) and 5’3” feet for women (160 centimetres), among other requirements.

It says the deadline for applications is 28 February 2023.

But there’s a catch: applicants are asked to pay a fee of KSh350 to an M-Pesa till number 9536407.

The ad claims that the fee will be used to validate the applicant’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) account.

NSSF is Kenya’s national retirement fund, while an M-Pesa till number allows businesses to receive and make payments using the popular money transfer service run by telecoms firm Safaricom.

So, is the forestry service really hiring?


KFS recruits but does not charge an application fee

As with many types of disinformation, there is some truth to this claim.

In February 2023, the KFS announced 2,000 vacancies for forest rangers, 40 for forest assistants and 260 for foresters.

Those interested in ranger positions were asked to report to various recruitment centres. Prospective forest assistants and foresters were told to apply through the KFS website. If successful, they would receive an email notification.

The next step was for applicants to print out the email and attach hard copies of their application letters, CVs, academic and professional certificates, and their national identity card.

This was to be sent to KFS by 7 March.

Crucially, KFS made no mention of any fee. The service noted: “The application process is free of charge and canvassing shall lead to automatic disqualification.”

The job ads asking KFS applicants to pay KSh350 is a scam.

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