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Kenyan athletes need bodyguards – Association boss for licensed security

By Winnie Onyando February 14th, 2024 2 min read

Henry C. Kioko, the executive chairman of the Professional Association of Licensed Private Security Services Providers of Kenya (PALSAK), recently shared his insights on the importance of athletes having personal security teams.

In a post on his LinkedIn account, Kioko emphasised the importance of protecting athletes, especially those with international fame and considerable wealth.

“Kenyan athletes and especially the internationally known sports figures are extremely wealthy. All of them usually but not always have a friend or two with them tagging along to help run interference for them and keep certain types of situations from developing and them being embroiled in something that someone then wants to try and sue them over. One of the really wealthy ones should never be without three to four friends to accompany them as they travel,” Kioko said.

While many athletes may have friends accompanying them to help manage various situations and avert potential conflicts, Kioko stressed the importance of having dedicated security personnel.

Kioko encouraged private security companies to venture into the field of athlete protection, highlighting the vulnerability of athletes who secure lucrative contracts, “making them targets for criminal elements or competitive rivals”.

As PALSAK strives to uphold a strict code of professional ethics, Kioko advocated the highest standards of executive protection.

Kioko pointed out that “athletes should keep in mind that personal protection is just that, the very protection of personal self, personal assets, reputation, career, and sometimes family.”

This comes at a time when the Private Security Regulatory Authority has rolled out plans to make it mandatory for the employers of close to one million members who are security guards, to earn the minimum gazetted wage.

The regulations also say all guards must have a Guard Force Number (GFN).

GFN is the only proof that a private security officer has been duly registered and licensed by the authority under the provisions of the law, a copy of a legal notice says.

Employers who fail to adhere to the requirements shall be liable to a fine or both fine and imprisonment in the case of a natural person, and Sh2 million in the case of a corporation.