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NAIROBI - 5 Dec 2020

South Sudan’s ambassador to Kenya warns of fake COVID-19 certificates

File photo: South Sudan’s Ambassador to Kenya Chol Mawut Unguec Ajongo
File photo: South Sudan’s Ambassador to Kenya Chol Mawut Unguec Ajongo

Chol Mawut Unguec Ajongo, South Sudan’s Ambassador to Kenya, has warned South Sudanese citizens in Kenya to guard against getting duped into or obtaining forged COVID-19 certificates and advised them to go test and obtain genuine ones from testing centres certified by the Kenyan government.

“I want to warn our people who want to travel to South Sudan that some people have been arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with fake or forged COVID-19 certificates,” Chol said. “COVID-19 tests result in Kenya are centralized so if you go to the certified centres in Nairobi West or Agha Khan Hospital, the results are pooled in a central database. So the people of the Ports Authority have access to that data. So if you go to the airport with a forged certificate they will cross-check with the system and it will be proved forged.”

“First of all as an individual you have to be careful because if you are sick and you are going back to South Sudan then you will infect other people, even those relatives, and family you are going to live and stay with,” Chol added.

The ambassador warned that instead of paying 3,000 Kenyan Shillings and obtaining a forged or fake certificate at the risk of getting arrested at the airport, it is better to go to a certified place and pay 6000 Kenyan Shillings and get a genuine COVID-19 certificate.

“So I want to warn our people to be careful because we have received several cases and others have been arrested and taken to court. As the ambassador, I have to warn and advise,” Ajongo said. “Even I, as the ambassador have a responsibility to respect and abide by the law, rules, and regulations of the host country.”

He said there are more than three cases of fake certificates involving South Sudanese, “so I am telling our people, through Radio Tamazuj, that I have been sent some of the fake certificates by the Kenyan government authorities. So I want the people to know that it is not a matter of saving money but rather your health and the health of your families which is important.”

Ambassador Chol said there have been many COVID-19 cases in Kenya, so it is good to test and find out your status before you travel so that you do not infect other people.

“You can infect people at the airport, in the airplane and eventually even your entire family after arrival home. Only one case can result in the infection of the entire nation, so it is not logical to buy fake COVID-19 certificates,” Chol advised.