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Govt raises concern over preference for elderly night guards

Friday December 13 2019

Guards from PG Security Company march past the

Guards from PG Security Company march past the dais during this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations marked at 64 Stadium in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County on October 20, 2019. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DERICK LUVEGA
By DERICK LUVEGA
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Government authorities have expressed concern over the increased employment of elderly persons as night guards in Vihiga after it emerged that many traders, premise owners and institutions in the county prefer the elderly persons to the youth.

The authorities are of the opinion that premises and businesses would be better off with young and energetic people guarding them.

County Commissioner Mr Ochillo Oyugi raise the concern amid rising cases of insecurity that have seen the elderly night guards attacked on numerous occasions.

Several elderly guards are reported to have suffered grievous injuries following attacks while on duty, while others have lost their lives in a spate of incidents in the county in the course of the year.

The latest incident was reported on Tuesday morning at Chavakali market where robbers who were armed with crude weapons broke into Imara supermarket and made away with property of unknown value.

ATTACKED

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A night guard identified as 76-year-old Jamas Induli sustained injuries after he was attacked by the gang while his colleague, 46-year-old Benson Achega died on the spot.

In March this year, five night guards - all aged above 60 years - were attacked by a gang at Kilingili market and killed in a horror incident that sent the area into shock.

The government believes it is time traders across the county started engaging youthful people for the job.

"I call on traders to employ young, energetic guards and not the elderly people," said Mr Oyugi, who also asked traders to install CCTV cameras on their premises.

The official took issue with the positioning of security lights at the market centres saying it has left the areas behind the shops in darkness.

Night guards have complained that some of the street and security lights stopped functioning, forcing them to operate in darkness.

Mr Oyugi called on the public to remain vigilant during the festivities and cooperate with the police in a bid to tame insecurity in the region.