How a youth lost Sh 800k to First Choice Agency on promise to study in Australia

First Choice Recruitment and Consulting Agency director is Judy Jepchirchir grilled by Senate Committee on Labour and Social Welfare. /Photo Courtesy

Senate Committee hearing on Wednesday exposed how youth lost millions of shillings to First Choice Recruitment and Consulting Agency in oversees study and jobs deals that never materialized.

The victims who appeared before the Senate Committee on Labour and Social Welfare led by Chairperson senator Julius Murgor narrated how they allegedly, lost their money on promises of getting jobs abroad.

They had been taken through medical tests and have never received travelling documents and efforts to get refunded their money has been unfruitful.

One of the victims Ms Nancy Mibei narrated how she allegedly paid sh 800,000 in 2017 to the agency whose director is Judy Jepchirchir to study in Australia, six years down the line she is yet to receive travelling documents.

She is among victims who sold their properties including land to fulfil their dreams of working and studying abroad.

Keiyo South MP Gideon Kimaiyo was also a victim, he had paid money for his relatives to work abroad, however the money was refunded after the deal failed.

Sammy Boire told the Senate committee he sold his motorbike and his family’s land to fund his sister’s trip which also did not materialize.

He accused the director of intimidating victims by invoking President William Ruto’s name.

Jepchirchir has previously denied defrauding the youth claiming she has refunded some of the money and her company has deployed more than 7,000 people to various companies abroad.

She was grilled by Senate Labour Committee for few minutes before she was kicked out after failing to retract, withdraw and apologize for accusing the committee of biases, she had accused the lawmakers of siding with the victims.

Jepchirchir was said to be ‘untouchable’ after failing to honour summons by the Senate three times.

Labour Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore told the Senate Labour Committee on Tuesday that records in her ministry showed the agency is not registered and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations is carrying out investigations into the matter.

The victims had petitioned Senate to intervene in the matter with a view to recommending that the youth and their families be reimbursed their money, the perpetrators be brought to book and that necessary precautions be put in place to ensure that such agencies are properly vetted before they are allowed to transact business.

The senate committee will retreat to write a report that will be tabled on their decision concerning the petition.

The agency’s deals came to the limelight late last year after it failed to fly over 500 job seekers to Qatar.

Most of the victims are drawn from Nakuru,Trans Nzoia,Uasin Gishu and Elgey Marakwet counties .

By Our Reporter

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