Security agencies urged to tame corruption in the sector

COTU boss Francis Atwoli during a press conference at the Solidarity Centre, Nairobi. (Mate Tongola, Standard]

The Central Organization of Trade Unions Secretary (COTU) General Francis Atwoli has lashed out at the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) Director General Fazul Mohammed for alleged “incompetence and inability to drive reforms in the private security industry”.

While addressing Kenya National Private Security Workers Union (KNPSWU) officials at Solidarity Centre in Gikomba, Nairobi on Sunday, Atwoli said it is injudicious for the guards to continue facing exploitation and unfair working conditions despite having a regulator, which the union lobbied and tirelessly championed to have in place.

Calling for an overhaul of the PRSA board, Atwoli added that the Union has received petitions from current and former employees of private security firms alleged to pay below the minimum wage as directed by the government.

"We cannot have a CEO who does not understand the dynamics of the sector to be in office for over 10 years. We have over 2,500 registered private security firms and service providers in Kenya," the COTU boss stated.

"Majority of these firms pay their employees far below the government minimum wage requirements, with no remittances of PAYE, NSSF and NHIF'.

Atwoli accused the PSRA of abetting corruption by issuing compliance certificates to briefcase security firms and called upon President William Ruto to stamp authority in the war against graft.

The KNPSWU delegation, led by Isaac Andabwa, challenged the legislatures to support policies and laws bound to cushion workers from exploitation.

"Why announce minimum wage increment while on the other hand, PSRA is busy issuing clearance and compliant certificates to firms that pay far below the minimum wage?" posed Andabwa.