Kenya Security firms find fault with government on minimum pay

The Private Security Association (PSA) in Kenya has cried foul in the government’s proposed Private Security Regulations which seek to have among other things the pay for private guards capped on the lower end at Sh27,000.

The association argues that the remuneration being proposed is unrealistic and likely to run private security firms out of business. “It is an irony that the government wants the firms to pay more money to the employees yet the government agencies that are taking up our services are also paying less than what they propose we pay as the minimum wage,” said Enock Makanga, an official of PSA.

A list shows that government ministries and agencies pay between Sh13,000 and Sh27,000 per guard for each month. Cosmas Mutava, an official from the association, said unless the government and its agencies are willing to increase the amount paid then the private securities risk running at a loss in effecting the regulations. He said, “We are not opposed to increasing the pay but it is untenable under the current arrangement where we risk even paying more than we receive from our clients.” The association refuted claims that its members collect as high as Sh50,000 but pay as little as Sh8,000.

Earlier in the week, the Kenya National Private Security Workers’ Union appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Delegated Legislation and decried the poor pay and working conditions that some members have been subjected to. The union raised issues such as dismissal of female security guards because of pregnancy. The union pointed out that some employers often fail to remit statutory deductions like NHIF and NSSF. Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho also appeared before the committee and said private security firms should start treating their employees better. He pointed out that some of the firms were exploiting their workers.