Ruto free to visit any county, private security guards say

Kenya National Private security workers union secretary general Isaac Andabwa,address press on 18th August 2023 at Amazon restaurant,in Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

Kenya National Private Security Workers Union (KNPSWU) secretary general Isaac Andabwa has told off politicians criticising the recent visit to State House by a section of Western leaders.

He said president William Ruto is free to visit any County, including Kakamega, without seeking permission and faulted those claiming that their visit was ill informed.

“State House is Ruto’s home and he is free to host anyone he so wishes as long as it is for the benefit of Kenyans,” said Andabwa.

He was among western leaders who were hoisted by Ruto ahead of his tour of Kakamega county.

The delegation comprised MPs Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), Titus Khamala (Lurambi), Mary Emase (Teso South) and Obed Mwale (Sabot). Trans Nzoia Senator Allan Chesang and former Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga.

Former Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Utalii College Chairman David Wamatsi and the Kenya Union of Nurses Secretary General Seth Panyako were also present.

Others were Kenya Urban Roads Authority Chairman Hamis Butich, Butere politician Habil Nanjendo Bushuru, Mr Ken Vitisia from Vihiga.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale dismissed the meeting by politicians as those pursuing selfish interests.

"There are only three factors in Luhya leadership; Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and Boni Khalwale. I would like to tell you, President Ruto, that the gateway to western is Mudavadi, Wetangula and myself”, Khalwale said

But speaking yesterday, Andabwa said during the visit, he took the chance to speak to the president about the welfare of private security guards.

“Those complaining about our visit have never spoken about private security guards. I represent guards across all 47 counties and that visit was very critical,” said Andabwa.

“A leader who is against visit buy other leaders to see a president is a self-seeking leader.

Andabwa was speaking during fundraiser of a guard who died by suicide in Kibra, over what was linked to pressure over high cost of living

He called on the government through the Ministry of Interior to come up with proper regulations to safeguard the sector.

He also warned investors who venture into private security business to comply with the minimum wage requirements.

“There is a big challenge in this industry, especially the issue of salary. Environment that guards work in and live in, it’s pathetic,” Andabwa noted.

“Out of the 2,500 private securities in the republic of Kenya only a few comply with minimum wage. They exist to exploit workers with peanut pay, which cannot sustain workers,” he added.

He appealed to the Head of State to find a way that security guards can be accommodated through salary increments to sustain their families and to avoid deaths.

Andabwa said that he earlier met Fazul Mohamed, the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) chief executive over the sticky issues.

Andabwa has been vocal over the operations of PSRA, claiming that that the body has been using its powers to register and award licences to new companies that underpay their workers and defies the law on minimum wage.

He said PSRA has been executing its tasks against the objectives laid down during its launch by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“The problems we are facing as a sector have placed us in an awkward position by the leadership of PSRA board, hampering our efforts to achieve the reform agenda in the security sector,” said Andabwa