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Hiring a guard to cost you more, thanks to tough new rules

By Mac Otani September 17th, 2019 2 min read

The fate of 500,000 private security guards in the country hangs in the balance if security companies fail to comply with new licensing requirements set by the government.

According to the new regulations, all private security firms in the country will be required by the state to comply with the new requirements by January 5, 2020 or face closure.

The new rules captured in the Private Security (General) Regulations 2019, require all the 2,500 companies that offer private security to register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority.

However, the Protective Security Industry Association (PSIA), a lobby representing more than 100 security firms in the country, has opposed the deadline and wants to be given more time to comply.

PSIA Chairperson Cosmas Mutava asked the state to give the private security firms at least three years to comply with the new regulations to avert massive job losses in the crucial sector.


Mutava noted that security firms will have to pay each guard at least Sh30,000 from January 5, 2020, meaning they will need to charge clients more than Sh50,000 to comply with new regulations.

“Firms that will be denied licenses are likely to lay off their employees. We were given six months to comply and now we have about three months remaining, we cannot comply with the regulations within the set deadline,” said Mutavi.

The new rules make it mandatory for individuals and firms seeking services of security guards to only engage with registered compliant firms, and those who fail to heed this will be violating the law.

Mutava and other PSIA stakeholders argue this will push security services beyond the reach of most Kenyans and in the process stifle growth in the crucial sector resulting in massive job losses.


Kenyans will be required to only employ only trained, certified and licensed private security guards from January, this will in effect ban the common cheaper untrained guards from manning gates.

Proposals contained in the Private Security (General) Regulations 2019 includes a new minimum wage for guards and a change of uniforms of a similar colour and design with those of State officers.

All guards will also be required to undergo a mandatory training and receive a certificate from the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) as their employers remit a fee to the regulator.