Security guards in South Nyanza have appealed to the government to hasten implementation of the private security regulations, which were to come into effect in January but stalled after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
Speaking to KNA on Friday in Kisii town, the Kenya Private Security Workers Union and the Private Security Service Providers Association appealed to the government to fast track harmonisation of the law which was meant to double their minimum wages to Sh.25,000 from Sh.14,000, and allow them carry firearms among other benefits.
They said implementation of the law would come in handy during this period of pandemic which has left them vulnerable to infection, led to pay cuts and loss of jobs for some of them.
Area Union Secretary, Bro. Zachariah Ondieki Maroro also urged the government to consider security guards under the stimulus program, saying it will support those who have lost their jobs and those infected while in the line of duty in various institutions, including hospitals, shopping malls and institutions of learning among others.
Maroro criticised some employers who have used the pandemic as an excuse to render employees redundant while they went ahead to employ others who are either paid less or are their relatives.
He raised concerns over delays in payment for the members and urged the employers to effect pay by end of every month to enable them cater for their families during the pandemic.
Maroro also criticised security guards employers who have failed to effect wage rise as announced by the President during each year’s Labor Day.
The Union has 4,000 members which cuts across Kisii, Nyamira, parts of Homa Bay, Migori, Bomet and Kericho Counties.
The Security Service Providers Association, Chairman Rev. James Mogire petitioned the government to involve their organisations when harmonising laws that affect them so that they can give their input.
Rev. Mogire said the association which comprises 61 companies and 11,000 workers, needed support from all sectors to support the security guards with sanitisers, masks and gloves since they meet many visitors and screen them for Covid-19 disease symptoms.
He noted that remuneration was a challenge for some firms because some clients were not paying for services owing to lack of business. These include rental premises where tenants have either moved or failed to pay due to lack of income and institutions of learning which are not being funded because they have closed.
Hesborn Obara of Seito Security Firm said there was an increase in crime and called for more vigilance on their part.
Jared Angwenyi of Gimo Security guards proposed that all guards be provided with PPEs especially those who get into contact with many people in shopping malls, schools and health institutions.
Noting that the guards remuneration was low considering his Sh.7,400 monthly pay, Denis Lugari of Kisii Security Guards appealed to the government to implement their pay increase saying their work was risky, including exposure to the elements hence predisposing them to infection by Covid-19.
By Clinton Nyamumbo/Jane Naitore