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Security Sector Braces for Massive Layoffs Amid Licenses Revocation”

Security Sector Braces for Massive Layoffs Amid Licenses Revocation"
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The sudden cancellation of operating licenses of nine(9) Private Security Companies puts in the line over 20,000 jobs in the sector, the Professional Security & Safety Association of Kenya and Protective Security Industry Association have warned.

On 5th February 2024, the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) issued a legal notice canceling the licenses of these companies without prior warning or any validreasons.

The companies had previously passed through stringent vetting procedures and been issued with 5 year operating licenses apart from 3 whose applications werebeing processed.

The action comes in the wake of court battles and protests by security associations who were not in agreement with an earlier PSRA notice calling for a new minimum wage of Kes. 30,000 per guard, which was later disowned by CS Labour FlorenceBore, and which the associations felt would not be affordable to clients whose costs would then rise to Kes. 45,000 per day guard and Kes 55,000 per night guard(dueto overtime, taxes and operational costs), meaning that per guarding station thenew 24 hour cost for Kenyans as clients would mount to Kes 100,000 per guarding post, a factor which most Kenyans would not be able to afford (Churches, Schools, Hospitals and commercial institutions would be severely exposed and at risk) andthus affecting existing contracts which are being paid at much lower rates including through existing tendered contracts by Government institutions.

If the new minimum wage is implemented in its current form and with the current economic situation, it would lead to losses of between 500,000 and 700,000 jobs in the sector.

The massive churn and industry upheaval is likely to lead to a rampant increase in crime, theft, burglaries and robberies due to the sudden lack of manned physical security at premises across the country and as those now unemployed but having families to feed are forced to find ways to survive. Additional impact may be experienced in the health sector as those now without hope for a future pay check fall into mental health issues that could lead into a spike of suicides, depression and chronic illness.

Assumptions that other security companies will take up the slack are erroneous as for most organizations and institutions including resident associations the turnaround time for a new security provider is guided by strict procurement process which take weeks if not months for new appointments and contract signing.

Thenet result is a more turbulent time for Kenyans who are already facing a harsh economic time as Government brings the hatchet down on some of the leading security companies.

What is surprising to many is that it seem that only association leaders companies have been targeted in the big chop. The specific targeting of association leaders through a public office for not toeing an unknown agenda is an unwanted and unwelcome development. Diplomatic channels have been opened to try to resolve the existing stalemate while maintaining peace and stability across the nation.

Security Associations continue to urge for peace and calm and have historically proven to be a unifying factor and providing honorable leadership to one of Kenya’s most stable sectors with an employed private security guard population country wide of over 1.2 million workers.

We encourage Kenyans to remain calm and positive as the matter is resolved inanamicable manne

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