Private guards to be armed
Private Guards. FILE

The national assembly is still on its way to arm private firms due to increased insecurity.

The Bill pushing for the arming of private security guards makes its way to the floor of Kenya's parliament.

The Private Security (General) Regulations were made under various sections of the previous security Act. The regulations that were to be established are anchored in that Act.

The regulations had various functions or objectives including, providing a procedure for appointment of members of the Private Security Regulatory Authority.

However, the bill had some objectives.

The Committee considered these regulations against the Constitution, the parent Act and other statutes and arrived at the decision that is now being brought to this House with a recommendation that those regulations be annulled.

That is of concern and importance to the Committee regarding the Private Security General Regulations.

1. The Committee was extremely concerned that contrary to Articles 10 and 118 of the Constitution, as read together with Sections 5 and 5A of the Statutory Instruments Act, there was inadequate public participation. Public participation is vital. Where it lacks, this Committee is not left with any other option, but to annul the regulations.

2. Contrary to section 13 (a) of the Statutory Instruments Act, the power to make regulations has not been properly invoked when making these regulations.

These are:
(i) Pursuant to Article 259(11) of the Constitution, where power conferred on a person is exercisable only on the advice of that person, not any other person. It cannot be moved in any other way without the relevant advice that has to be taken as provided by the law.

(ii) Section 45(2) requires consultation with the Inspector-General and the Authority. Unfortunately, we were not able to find any backing regarding that consultation in the National Police service Act. Therefore, it appears to the Committee as if the Inspector-General was being called upon to consult a third party in the discharge of his duties, which is against the law.

(iii) Section 51(2) requires consultation with the Authority and private security service providers before making regulations relating to use, manufacture, importation, selling, distribution, possession and classification of security equipment. Again, this was a consultation with a third party which in our view was not properly exercised.

"The bill, if passed, will make it mandatory for private security companies to train and provide guns to their guards to supplement the National Police Service in enhancing national security " Isaac Andabwa, Secretary-General of Kenya Private Security Workers Union remarked.

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