Two state agencies are squabbling over the training and licensing of private security guards, in a dispute that could delay plans to professionalize the sector which continues to attract new investors.
The clash began when the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) wrote to the National Industrial Training Authority (Nita), accusing the body of overstepping its mandate after holding an early meeting of the month to discuss a new private security training program. guards.
There are approximately 700,000 private security guards in nearly 2,000 companies across the country. The government attempted to regulate the industry and set a minimum wage for guards at 27,000 shillings per month.
PSRA Director General Fazul Mahamed accused Nita of calling an illegal meeting to discuss matters falling within his mandate.
In a July 6 letter, Mr. Mohamed said Nita was wrong to hold the meeting without involving the private security regulator. He said there is a “functional and fully operational” private security training program.
He warned that the PSRA would not recognize any program developed by Nita and would not hesitate to revoke the licenses of private security companies that participated in the stakeholders’ meeting.
“The purpose of this letter is therefore to request Nita to refrain from covering and participating in such illegal activities and to seek the approval of the Private Security Regulatory Authority for any matters relating to the industry private security,” he said.
Nita’s boss, Stephen Ogenga, argued the authority was within his powers as his remit includes developing industrial training programs.
“Thus, your presumption that this was illegal and unauthorized is devoid of any basis in law or otherwise. It is further noted that you were invited to a meeting by a letter dated June 24, 2022 and an email dated June 30, 2022 which you never responded to, attended or delegated attendance,” said Mr. Ogenga.
He noted in the letter that there is a need to develop a collaborative framework that will improve service delivery by both institutions.
“However, effective synergy cannot be achieved through the exchange of letters,” he said.
Protective Security Industry Association (PSIA) President Cosmas Mutava backed Nita, saying it was within his mandate.
The government lobbied through the Authority for the rangers to undertake a new check, but it was suspended after protests in 2019.