The Narok County director of communications, Paul Tobiko, told PesaCheck that Mara Gazella Resort does not exist.
Syndicated story by PesaCheck.
This screenshot shared on Facebook purporting to advertise jobs at Mara Gazella Resort located in the Maasai Mara National Reserve is a SCAM.
The advert claims that the resort is recruiting waiters and waitresses, chef/kitchen staff, front desk staff, receptionists, room attendants, barmen, and cleaners.
Interested candidates are asked to send their CVs, application letter and a copy of their National Identification Card to the resort’s human resource manager. Two email addresses are provided through which to share application details: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidates are further directed to the resort’s website: http://www.resortsmara.co.ke/careers, for more details. Upon following the link PesaCheck did not find any jobs advertised on that website.
However, several Facebook users have acknowledged receipt of an appointment letter from Mara Gazella Resort. This user shared his appointment letter in the comments section on Facebook.
One of the red flags we discovered after reading the appointment letter is that Mara Gazella Resort did not conduct any interviews before shortlisting the job applicants.
“We wish to inform you that following your application via email, you have been selected to join our new prestigious resort, Mara Gazella Game Resort (K) Ltd. Since we no longer conduct interviews as the best interview is to see your work, you will be on a probation rotation/on the job interview for the first two months of your employment,” the appointment letter reads in part.
Two of the three phone numbers provided on the appointment letter are registered as “Mara Gazella” and the resort’s alleged HR manager, “Hrm Kiprotich Mara Ggr”. However, the third number is not registered to any user.
Most striking is the appointment letter template and logo. These resemble those of Mara Ritz Palazzo which PesaCheck discovered was a non-existent hotel used to scam job-seekers. The signature of the HR manager also looks similar.
Successful applicants are sent a message asking them to pay KSh 2,475 for a Government Tourism Health and Food Handling certificate. This is questionable as the same certificate is offered by the Nairobi County Government at Ksh 700 and KSh 200 by the Narok County government.
We also reviewed the Mara Gazella Resort website and noticed some inconsistencies in the text. Whereas most of the text on the website talks about Mara Gazella Resort, on two occasions, the text mentions Mara Crescent. PesaCheck previously debunked a job advert from Mara Crescent and found it to be a scam.
A reverse image search on some of the photos used on the website also found that they had been lifted from other sites. For example, the image on the homepage was lifted from the swimming pool area of Singita Lebombo at Kruger National Park in South Africa.
To further verify the authenticity of Mara Gazella Resort, we contacted the Narok County director of communications, Paul Tobiko, who told us that the hotel does not exist.
“I just spoke with the Narok County Director for Tourism and he has confirmed that the resort does not exist hence it is conmanship,” Tobiko told this fact-checker.
PesaCheck has looked into a screenshot shared on Facebook claiming that there are jobs at Mara Gazella Resort located at the Maasai Mara and finds it to be a SCAM.
This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.
By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.
This fact-check was written by PesaCheck fact-checker Naomi Wanjiku and edited by PesaCheck chief copy editor Rose Lukalo. The article was approved for publication by PesaCheck managing editor Enock Nyariki.
PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water / sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.
PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watchdog organisations.