KEPSA led by the Deputy CEO, Ms. Rachel Muthoga and Security Sector Board Chair, Mr. Silvanus Sewe met with Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) CEO, Mr. Fazul Mahammad, Protective Security Industry Association (PSIA) Chair, Mr. Cosmas Mutava, a representative from Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and other security stakeholders on 4th September 2019 at the KEPSA offices. The meeting aimed to review the private security regulations.
Ms. Muthoga who chaired the meeting outlined some challenges being faced by the Private security associations including PSRA compliance period, Minimum wage compliance, PSRA board, PSRA fees and licenses, Arming of the security guards and tax proposals in the Finance Bill 2019/2020.
Mr. Mahammad in his remarks noted that the Authority will continue supporting KEPSA and the entire Private security. Addressing the challenges one by one, he noted that regarding the minimum wage there will be proper segmentation to ensure everyone should have a minimum wage. Mr. Mahammad added that 95 percent of issues to do with minimum wage had been addressed because they came from industry players. The PSRA CEO also said that they will have a look at section 9Q of the Private Security Regulation Act that talks about a proper legal mandate to set standards and enforce minimum wage compliance and ensure the wages council is operational.
Responding to concerns over the PSRA Board, Mr. Mahammad noted that the previous board terms ended after the Gazettement of the Act. He informed the meeting that in the next 2 days, letters will be dispatched to the various organizations and authorities requesting them to nominate members who will sit on the board. He added that both Big and small organizations will be represented on the board.
On the issue of arming of private security guards, Mr. Mahammad noted that Section 53 of the Private Security Regulation Act prohibits the use of firearms for private security guards. He added that the amendment is currently before parliament and members will be invited for public participation to present their views. He added that they will equip Private security guards but only those in strategic areas. If Private security guards are armed, this will help free up Police in Kenya from performing duties such as Guarding cash in transit vehicles, protecting VIPs and Banks which will then release them to the members of the public. Any VIP who will need a private security guard will have to cater to their cost.
Fees and licenses is another challenge being faced by Private security industry players. Mr. Mahammad informed members that the fees being charged were 3 times and it has been reduced by 75 percent. He added that as the authority they are looking to collapse one or two fee requirements into one to help remove the overlapping roles. They are also looking to train people in specific areas so that they can become professionals in that area. He informed members that if one sits in as a trustee, the law still applies to them.
Compliance was also identified as an agenda item with Mr. Mahammad stating that it will be difficult to regulate companies by January 2020. He, however, informed them that by 5th July 2020, all licenses will have lapsed to start a licensing cycle. He added that a sample curriculum for the Private Security Guards will be launched at the Kenya School of Government.
The last issue that was addressed was Tax compliance. The KEPSA Security sector board through Mr. Cosmas Mutava presented their issues in front of the parliamentary committee on finance and planning. This proposal if approved will have huge ramifications to the sector.
Mr. Silvanus Sewe, Chair Security Sector Board thanked Mr. Mahammad for addressing the issues. He added that the best way to approach these particular issues is by doing it collectively and hence developing a sense of urgency.