Private guards to be part of national security structure

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja,PSRA DG Fazul Mahamed, Dr Isaac Andabwa, National General Secretary, Kenya National Private Security Workers Union and other stakeholders at the Mass Registration of Private Security Officers Guard Force number dubbed '30K for 39K' at Uhuru Park, Nairobi. March 30th,2024 [Elvis, Ogina, Standard]

The government will recognise private security guards as part of the national security forces after it rolled out mass registration that saw them acquire a guard force number (GFN). 

Speaking on Saturday during the launch of the registration exercise at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei said the initiative is a commendable stride in improving security in the city and country. 

“With the blessings of our Inspector General of Police, we will consolidate our workforces. The security of every place will have someone responsible,” he said. 

“We have talked and agreed with the Director General that you are the right resource,” he added, insisting that, going forward, a police officer deployed at a given area must recognise a private security guard manning the place.

While lauding the private officers as the first line of defence in dealing with insecurity cases, he said both teams will speak one language when reporting.  

He assured the officers of harmonious collaboration in discharging duties, saying “you will work with us (national security force) will be answerable to me. We will share authority.”

Director General of Private Security Regulatory Authority, Fazul Mohamed, said the GFN will help in professionalising the sector that currently employs about 1.3 million Kenyans. 

“You are now part and parcel of the national security infrastructure. The number will be your identity as a security officer recognised by the government and showing your area of deployment,” Mohamed said. 

The private security sector has recently witnessed transformation initiatives, with the Kenya Private Security Workers Unions (KPSWU) championing for salary increase and other agenda. 

But the efforts have faced hurdles delaying full implementation of the proposed policies as security firms moved to court to challenge minimum wage for the guards pegged at Sh30,000.  

Mr Mohamed said that the authority has offered professional training to the guards, noting that the skills are globally recognised. 

“We have signed a lot of memorandums with a number of companies, that once you go through the training   have here in Kenya, you will not have to go through another training in that country,” he said.

KPSWU Secretary General Isaac Andabwa said the union is pushing for a single national Sacco to economically empower the officers.

Career progression, among other issues bedevilling, also emerged as a challenge that Mr Andabwa said must be looked into, to help the guards improve in knowledge and skills. 

“We cannot afford to see you retire as a guard. You must have to progress,” he said, warning employers to release the academic credentials of the guards that some of them have withheld. 

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja urged the security firms to “organise themselves to make it easier for negotiations to address the plights.” [Okumu Modachi]