Tough times lie ahead for over 2,000 private security firms that fail to pay taxes and remit statutory deductions after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i yesterday ordered a compliance audit.
The audit, to be conducted by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the office of the Inspector-General of Police starting January, will see non-compliant companies edged out of the industry in April next year.
“New licences will be issued to all compliant private security firms in April 2020. Anyone who will be found not to have complied will not be in business forthwith,” Dr Matiang’i said.
Speaking during the launch of the training curriculum for level-one private security guards at the Kenya School of Government in Kabete yesterday, the CS also ordered the Private Security Regulations Authority (PRSA) to publish service standards for private security guards in the next 30 days.
The government intends to enforce the Security Regulations Act (2016), which were annulled by the National Assembly Committee on Delegated Legislation last month.
“We are determined to reform this sector. Nothing will stop us or stand in our way. Investors should be happy because we are opening up opportunities for them in government parastatals and other agencies where the guards will be deployed instead of the police,” Dr Matiang’i said.
The CS, who was accompanied by his Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and Police Inspector-Gen Hillary Mutyambai, warned security firms planning to go to courts to block the reforms to prepare for a tough battle similar to the one the government fought with betting companies.
“Reforms are painful but we have to carry them out. If you go to court to stop the process, we shall be there to defend ourselves,” Dr Matiang’i said.
Mr Mutyambai said the National Police Service will help train the guards in its police colleges.
“I do not have enough personnel to handle the security challenges we are facing today,” he said. “There is a big gap that the guards will fill in performing non-essential and non-core functions being handled by the police.”
Mr Kibicho said the reforms will not only help to professionalise the industry but also accord the over 700,000 guards dignity.
Guards have been earning as low as Sh3,000 per month. But the new regulations provide that each guard earn a minimum of Sh27,993 for night duties and Sh25,641 for day duties.