Kenyans to have a say on arming of private guards

Monday April 15 2019
Fazul Mahamad

Kenya Private Security Regulatory Authority boss Fazul Mahamed inspects a guard of honour mounted by trainee guards in Karen, Nairobi in January 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


A plan by the government to allow arming of private security guards to complement police work will be effected in strict adherence with the law.

According to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, the government will follow the proper procedure, including public participation.

In addition, the guards will be trained before those to be armed can be identified.


“Police will assist in training private security to determine those to be given firearms,” Dr Matiang’i said in an interview with the Daily Nation. Arming private guards would reduce the pressure on the government to provide bodyguards to VIPs, he added.

So far some 750 illegal firearms and 13,000 rounds of ammunition have been recovered following the vetting of gun holders, the CS added.


He said no one is allowed to own a military type gun without his permission.

“However, I will not give the exception on my own but forward the request to the National Security Advisory Council,” the CS said, adding that the issuance of licences to gun holders had been abused.

There has been an outcry from Kenyans over the high-calibre guns in civilian hands.

He said an operation will soon be launched to mop out illegal firearms in the hands of criminals.

The CS expressed confidence in the ongoing  police reforms and said  a fully-fledged forensic laboratory to help resolve homicide cases would be in place before the end of the year.

“That is why the Government Chemist was moved to Ministry (of Interior), so that forensic health could benefit from the synergy,” he said.


On immigration matters, the CS said the issuance of work permits to foreigners had been streamlined and that the existing tough measures would be enhanced.

“Two weeks ago we had an altercation with a company which wanted work permits for 600 engineers for a firm they said they were starting in Kenya, but after checking with the Engineers’ association, we were told they (experts) could be found locally.”

He urged Kenyans to register for the Huduma Namba, saying eight million people had enrolled. The registration closes on May 18.

Dr Matiang’i, who was appointed by President Kenyatta to co-ordinate government ministries through Executive Order Number 1 of 2019 said his new role had helped triple spending on government projects in last two months.