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Recruitment agency employee battling assault charges

A security officer attached to First Choice Recruitment and Consultancy Agency which is currently embroiled in a job scam is said to have strangled a student claiming a refund of Sh47,000 meant to secure employment in Qatar, an Eldoret court was told on Monday.

The court heard that Mathew Kemboi strangled Lawrence Nzuki in his car after duping the complainant to sign a refund document for the money that he had paid to the firm with the hope of being helped to secure employment in Qatar.

While testifying in a case where Mr Kemboi is accused of assaulting Mr Nzuki by subjecting him to actual bodily harm,Mr Nzuki said he raised alarm during the incident attracting members of the public he came for his rescue.

A bodaboda rider, Mike Yegon, who witnessed the incident told Principal Magistrate Mogire Onkoba he saw the accused strangling the complainant in his car parked at Eldoret County referral hospital formerly known as the District hospital.

“I saw the accused strangling Mr Nzuki with his left hand. Mr Nzuki struggled to come out of the car as members of the public surrounded the car following commotion and the alarm raised by the victim,” Mr Yegon told the court.

Mr Kemboi is charged with assault, causing actual bodily harm contrary to section 251 of penal code.

The court heard that on November 15,2022, at Eldoret town, Mr Kemboi assaulted Mr Nzuki thereby subjecting him to actual bodily harm.

Mr Kemboi, who is represented by Henry Kenei, denied the charge and was released on bond.

Mr Kenei told the court that the accused who was charged with defaming the firm was on a revenge mission.

He told the court that charges against his client were fabricated by the complainant as diversionary to the accusation of defamation.

Hearing of the case was adjourned to June 26.

A row surrounding a job scam recruitment by the firm with more than 2,000 youths who claim to have lost millions of shillings through promises of jobs in Qatar has intensified in February this year when victims petitioned Uasin Gishu County Assembly to intervene for them to recover their money.

The firm came under fire after collecting millions of shillings from the youth drawn from various parts of Rift Valley promising to place them World Cup-related jobs in Qatar.

The angry youths claim they paid thousands of shillings to the agency to secure the coveted jobs but a majority of them did not secure the visas and were never refunded their money.

It has emerged that some of the youth and their parents had obtained loans while others sold properties to raise the money with the hope of securing jobs in Qatar.

At the same time, Human rights organisations in the North Rift led by Kimutai Kirui of the Centre Against Torture want the government to tighten laws on recruitment agencies purporting to connect Kenyans with jobs abroad.

“This recruitment scam is becoming a huge con game that must be dealt a big blow. We urge anyone who paid money to any recruitment agency across Kenya to kindly walk into the nearest police station and make a formal complaint,” said Kirui.

Uasin Gishu County Assembly Ad-hoc committee probed the matter following a petition filed by the victims with the support of Centre Against Torture and recommended for the arrest of the Director of First Choice Recruitment and Consultancy Agency Managing Director Judith Jepchirchir whom the MCAs termed as a hostile witness.

Already the matter is being probed by The Senate Standing Committee on Labour.

The committee is expected in Eldoret this week to gather evidence about allegations levelled against the firm.

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