Private guards push for review of regulatory body functions

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) has challenged the government to review functions of their regulator, claiming it failed to address their plight.

The union said Private Security Regulatory Authority(PSRA) has been executing its tasks against the objectives laid during its launch by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

They said the body has continued to oppress the guards.

KNPSWU chair Isaac Andabwa said the leadership of the body has hampered the development of the sector and their efforts to realise their dream.

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

Andabwa said that the body has been using its powers to register and award licences to new companies which underpay their workers and defies governments act on minimum wage.

He also blamed the national assembly for calling off motions on their reforms, which if passed may have addressed their plight promising to revamp them.

“As guards we will pressure the parliament to revisit the rules they had closed, reactivate to ensure it passes and help our workers,” Andabwa said.

He called on the government to review employment terms eradicating contracts and instead ensure workers are enjoying a permanent basis.

Andabwa said that they are against the ongoing inspection done by the ministry of security,  terming it as a corrupt process led by individuals pushing for self-interests.

“What we need is a degree of minimum wage from the government not inspection which is surrounded by corrupt individuals rather than ensuring that all the companies abide by the minimum wage act,” Andabwa added.

KNPSU Assistant Secretary Aden Kasim said that the guards have led a devastating life as a result of the laxity of PSRA.

Kasim accused the body of allowing employers to employ immigrants at the expense of the vast unemployed youths saying this should not be the case in the sector.

“I wonder how refugees from neighbouring countries work as guards and the government says the companies should employ our youths, the government should investigate this and take actions against those responsible,” said Kassim.  

The union threatens to down their tools if the government will fail to address their plight and engage them in developing reforms.

“If they will not respond to our call and address the issue, we appeal to all the branch secretaries and guards across the country to start a strike,” said Andabwa.