Agency orders firms to surrender guards IDs, academic papers

Dr Isaac Andabwa, National General Secretary, Kenya National Private Security Workers Union. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Private Security Regulatory Authority (PRSA) has ordered security firms to surrender vital documents belonging to guards.

During recruitment, some security companies demand that guards surrender original national identity cards and academic certificates.

Kenya National Private Security Workers Union (KNPSWU) organising secretary, Joash Soita said the practice is meant to prevent guards from seeking employment elsewhere.

“We have for several years been raising this matter to no avail. We have even reported the firms involved to the Ministry of Labour but no action has been taken against them,” said Soita while lauding PRSA for taking the bold step.

The firms have been given 48 hours to return the documents to the rightful owners. PRSA Director General Fazul Mahamed said they have received complaints from guards about the illegal withholding of their IDs, academic certificates and other documents.

“This is in violation of the law, terms and conditions attached to the certificate of registration and the code of conduct for private security service providers,” said Fazul.

The PRSA boss condemned the unlawful retention of vital documents belonging to security guards.

He reiterated that the authority is committed to ensure that the rights of guards are upheld and exploitation eradicated.

Failure to comply with the directive will result in legal action being taken against the private security companies including revocation of their operating licenses.

“All private security companies are hereby directed to immediately cease and desist from the aforementioned illegality and to within the next 48 hours hand over all national IDs, academic certificates and other essential personal documents to private security officers,” said Fazul.

During the mass registration of guards at Uhuru Park over the weekend KNPSWU secretary general Isaac Andawa asked the authority to crack the whip on security firms that withhold vital documents belonging to guards.

“The practice amounts to slavery since guards cannot further their education or seek employment elsewhere. We want to the authority to take action against employers who treat as slaves, private security officers,” said Andabwa.