Currently, to get a job, a comrade has to buy the following certificates:
- Certificate of Good Conduct at sh.1050 as payment for not being a criminal
- Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission clearance certificate at sh.500 as payment for not being corrupt
- Credit Reference Bureau clearance certificate at sh.2200 as payment for not having outstanding debts and loans
- HELB Clearance Certificate at sh.1000 as payment for not taking a HELB loan or for having paid your HELB loan in full.
Of course, if you have outstanding loans with either HELB or the numerous money lending agencies that currently operate in Kenya, you can forget about looking for formal employment.
Comrades have a habit of taking loans from apps like Tala and failing to repay them. The consequences are that the CRB will bar such a comrade from taking a loan for the next five to seven years unless he or she repays the loan and seeks clearance from the bureau. A good number of graduates are also failing to pay their HELB loans within the first year after graduation, either because they can’t or don’t want to.
Regardless of how you got there, once you’re on the wrong side of either HELB or the CRB, clearing your name becomes more difficult with time. This means that it will be hard for you to ever get formal employment since most employers require that you provide these clearance certificates.
However, while speaking at the People’s Dialogue Forum held from 5th to 6th March, Speaker Justin Muturi revealed that parliament will review the necessary requirements before getting a job. If such a review were to lead to a scrapping off of the CRB and HELB clearance requirements before getting employed, a lot more graduates would be in a better position to acquire jobs.
Currently, graduates find themselves in a difficult position: You can’t pay your HELB loan without money. To get money, you have to get a job but you can’t get any job without first clearing with HELB.