Security Analyst calls for speedy passage of Security Bill
05 August 2015, 08:18
Nairobi - A security analyst has called upon members of parliament to hasten passage of the Private Security Regulation Bill 2014 to allow private guards to carry guns.
Richard Tuta, a leading Homeland Security Analyst said if the bill is passed, it will help improve security in the country.
“As it has been observed and as we see everywhere, the watchmen are like flower girls or ushers yet they are doing a job in the world where criminals and thieves are well armed,” noted Tuta in a phone interview with News24.
He said that the guards are at a ‘higher ground’ of attack as they are the first targets of armed thugs and terrorists.
Citing the Westgate Mall siege in 2013 and the Garissa University attack in April this year, the security expert said there was need to arm private security guards.
He said that if the guards were armed, they could have at least repulsed or engaged the criminals and hence help foil the attacks at the initial stages.
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“A guard was captured on camera being shot. If that guard had a gun, he would have resisted the shooting. It is not logical to expect a watchman with a rungu to go against a criminal with a gun,” said Tuta.
Tuta however pointed out that the guards should be well trained and carefully vetted before being issued with guns.
“We have seen a number of security guards having guns in neighbouring countries but no misuse has been reported. The government will vet those to be given the arms and ensure there is no threat of small arm peddlers," he observed.
He further proposed for the formation of a regulatory body and standards to guide operations of private guards.
According to Tuta, schools, churches and other institutions should be provided with armed private security guards as they are ‘soft spots’ for criminals.
The bill which is in parliament has gone through the second reading and is expected to go to the third reading where MPs are expected to introduce amendments.
Though the bill focuses more on regulation of private security and welfare of the guards, Tuta urged lawmakers to present suitable amendments and expand the law to ensure provision of arming security guards.
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