Private security firms that will not have complied with new licensing requirements by January 5, next year, will be shut, the State has said.
According to a gazette notice by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i (pictured), security firms will have to hit the set deadline or face closure.
The firms employ 500,000 guards, jobs which could be lost if the companies do not comply with the State order.
The rules dubbed Private Security (General) Regulations 2019, demand that all the 2,500 private security firms in the country register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority.
Individuals or companies seeking security services must only engage with firms that are registered.
This means homes, schools, hospitals and other institutions that hire guards from companies that are not registered with the regulator will be committing an offence.
The Protective Security Industry Association (PSIA), a lobby for the security firms, said yesterday the deadline was untenable.
Speaking in Nairobi, PSIA Chairperson Cosmas Mutava said the private security firms would need at least three years to comply.
He said firms that would be denied licenses were likely to lay off their employees. “We were given six months to comply and now we have about three months remaining," said Mr Mutavi.
"We must be honest and say that we cannot comply with the regulations within the set deadline," he added.
Among proposals contained in the Private Security (General) Regulations 2019 is an introduction of a minimum wage for security officers.
Firms whose guards have uniforms of a similar colour and design with State officers will be compelled to change them.
The firms will also be required to train their guards, as well as pay a fee to the regulatory authority.