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Slavery In Kenya: The Case of Kenyan Security Guards

Isaac Andabwa, Secretary General, Kenya National Private Security Workers Union (In dotted shirt)

Yesterday, the National Assembly committee on delegated legislation heard that rogue security firms and much as Ksh50,000 per guard every month but only pay them a meager salary of Sh8,000. The rest, the companies argued are used to cater for logistics.

This means that private security firms have been collecting millions of shillings from clients but end up paying peanuts to their contracted guards.

Interior Principal Secretary (PS) Karanja Kibicho termed the move unfair labour practice, which will be addressed by the Private Security (General) Regulations, 2019 coming into effect on January 5, 2020.

“We have responsibilities to look at both the interests of the guards and the employer. It is not fair that the consumers pay Sh50,000 but guards only get Sh5,000 from the companies,” Kibicho said.

The PS was appearing before the committee chaired by Gladys Shollei (Uasin Gishu) over the Private Security Regulations.

Pregnant Security guards are sacked immediately

Before this, the guards under their umbrella union – Kenya National Private Security Workers Union – shared their ordeal in the hands of employers, whom they accuse of focusing on their profits with no regard for the welfare of the guards.

KNPSWU national General Secretary Isaac Andabwa told the committee of over 200 cases this year where pregnant guards were dismissed the moment the firms learnt they were expectant.

“Private security is about the guard. Employers only think about their profits and nothing to do with the person who stays in the sun and cold night,” Andabwa said.

Security firms defense: Job losses

The security firms wants the regulations which comes into effect in January 2020 that requires them to pay the guards a minimum of Ksh27,000 a month extended to 2024.

They further argued that key stakeholders were not involved in developing the regulations, saying the government only conducted public participation in Nairobi county.

The security firms warned of massive job losses should the government continue with the implementation of the regulations in January.

Currently, 2,000 security firms have employed more than 500,000 guards.

Kibicho said the Interior ministry is flexible to talks around the deadline but noted that any extension should be reasonable.


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