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Wells Fargo Suffers Blow In Fight To Stay Operational

Wells Fargo Limited

Wells Fargo Limited

The private security industry in Kenya was thrown into a frenzy early this month when the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) published a gazette notice listing 183 authorized firms to operate in the country, leaving many others scrambling to understand how they would continue to do business.

One company, Wells Fargo, which has been in operation for more than 45 years, employing over 3,000 guards and generating an annual turnover of Sh1.8 billion, found itself on the list of unauthorized companies and quickly took legal action.

According to court papers, Wells Fargo’s license application has been pending for nearly three years and despite numerous attempts to follow up with the PSRA, the company has yet to receive a response.

The firm is now seeking a court order to compel the PSRA to issue them a license.

In an affidavit, the company’s Managing Director, Richard Garth Baudry, stated that “Despite providing all the requested documents, complying with requirements of the Act (Private Security Regulation Act), and following up with the respondent on numerous occasions on the status of its application, the applicant is yet to receive any response.”

However, the High Court Judge Jairus Ngaah, denied the company’s request for an urgent hearing, stating that although the company claims the PSRA delayed the processing of the license, Wells Fargo did not move to court at the earliest opportunity.

The judge has directed the company to serve the regulator with the court documents and has given the PSRA seven days to respond.

The case is set to be mentioned on February 1st.

The decision by the PSRA to only authorize 183 private security firms has caused concern for the thousands of guards employed by the more than 2,000 companies in the industry.

It remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved.

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