Bouncers, bodyguards to undergo mandatory training by govt

Individuals working as bouncers, bodyguards, event stewards, door supervisors, VIP protection personnel, close protection, event security and crowd control services will have to undergo vetting, training and licensing in line with the requirements of the Private Security Regulation Act (2016).

In a memo sent to the concerned entities on Monday, Private Security Regulatory Authority Director General Fazul Mahamed said the individuals or any other person hired or otherwise engaged to ensure order and safety on premises used for entertainment, recreational or sporting purposes fall within the legal definition of a private security service provider under the Act.

He further added that sections 21 and 28 of the Act require that no person shall engage in the provision of private security services unless that person has been vetted, registered and licensed in accordance with the Act.

“In view of the foregoing, the Government has commenced the mandatory nationwide security vetting, training and licensing of all bouncers, bodyguards, event stewards’ door supervisors, event security, VIP protection, close protection and crowd control security personnel,” he says.

The directive follows last week’s attack on journalists, police officers and National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) officials by the security team at Kettle House Club where a multi-agency shisha crackdown was happening.

The club’s security resorted to violence injuring journalists who were covering the operation, and confiscating and destroying their equipment.

Eventually, 21 persons including the club manager were arrested in the highly criticized and shocking attack that exposed the need for regulation of the club’s security as some of the attackers were said to be armed with knives.

“The Authority takes great exception to the violent nature of the response to the crackdown on illegal shisha activities in the country and reminds the public that attacks on members of the press, security officers and other authorized personnel carrying out their duties were punishable by law. Because of this, criminal charges against the offenders have commenced and they will be arraigned in court to answer to various charges related to the assault,” NACADA Chairperson Dr Stephen Mairori said in a statement.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale also criticized the attack terming the attack on journalists and Law enforcement officers as illegal, primitive and immoral.

“The Public Health (Control of Shisha smoking) Rules, 2017 prohibit the import, manufacture, sale, use, advertising, promoting and distribution of shisha. Regardless of your status and political affiliation, owners of shisha dens must face the law. We must protect the family from drug abuse,” said the CS.

Last year, the Bouncers Association of Kenya pleaded with the government to allow them to own guns in order to protect themselves in the event of life-threatening incidents in the course of duty.

“We are dealing with robbers, terrorists and threats from people who are licensed and unlicensed forearm holders. It is very important for members of our organization to know gun safety,” the association’s Chairman Mr Brian Omondi said at the time.

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