Today i heard Nkaisery say something that caught my attention. He was saying that they are looking into ways of ammending the law to allow private security company guards to bear arms.
Now, this is the kind of thinking we should be opening up to. Strategies that can bring change rather than doing things the same way always and expecting different results. Handled correctly this move can revolutionise the security situation in this country. There are some credible big companies that can handle this responsibility pretty effectively. Also there are a lot of people in the country who have been trained in security and arms but cannot contribute positively to our economy because the government holds a monopoly in their field of expertise. Im talking of retired servicemen, those who were relieved of their duties for various reasons, kenyans who have served abroad and maybe even our own NYS graduates.
Im sure if very stringent measures we put in place like strict expansive background checks on employees, high training standards, heavy penalties on non compliance etc these companies can augment the services of our overwhelmed security agencies and also discourage trained civilians from turning their wealth of knowledge to crime.
Lets face it, a country of 40 plus million people cannot rely on 60,000 police officers and 30,000 KDF personnel that we currently have. Again dont forget that a good number of these officers are deployed to guard homes of vips, banks, casinos and chasing after money vans in proboxes leaving an even less number to serve the common man in the streets.
I was watching the new security measures at westgate but i realised they were just cosmetic. The additional cameras, electronic gate car barriers and even the additional unarmed private security guards hired would be of little help in an armed and determined assailant were to walk in on a killing spree. The same is replicated in all our malls and learning institutions despite the westgate and Garissa attacks. We really have not learnt and done things any different.
Strict and expansive background checks on potential employees, high levels of training, good remuneration standards and punitive penalties on non compliance would assist in having reputable companies run this strategic move. It would also put to use the great number of kenyans who are trained in security and arms such as ex servivemen thus discouraging them to put their vast knowledge and expertise to crime as they would have alternative employment to contribute positively to the economy. This would free the tax funded national police to serve mwananchi rather than be hired by private companies to guard banks, casinos, money couriers, unga trucks etc
The companies should not hire ‘askaris’ as we know them today. These should be highly trained and well paid security proffessionals prefferably ex-servicemen from police and military to offer a wide range of solutions from guard duty, surveillance, armed escort etc. Their clients will be businesses and individuals who hire police today because they lack that option. The normal askaris like we know them today will still exist. Eg a bank will have to hire both unarmed and armed guards just like they do today by hiring g4s and policemen. In other words these would be specialist companies offering a high skill security solutions. The problem with Kenyans when this idea is floated they always think that every guard hata yule maasai wa estate will be armed and so they grow cold feet. NOOO!!! Think in the lines of US security contractors like Blackwater.
This is long overdue… in addition they should also make it easier for the common mwananchi to own guns? I do not think that this will lead to increased crime coz it seems all the bad guys have guns or can access them easily leaving out the the law abiding good citizens unarmed at the mercies of gun totting gangsters.
Who tells you we have less guns. We have more guns in illegal hands than the police and army combined. And with the situation in somalia being what it is it cannot get any better. The amount of guns in nothern kenya in peoples hands will shock you. Same with nairobi thats why you hear of unending hitmen in kihiu mwiri. A lot more guns in legal trained hands is the way to go.
Today with the guns already available if a rogue politician wants to organise an armed militia he would do it very easily. Only motivation stops them plus the fact that we’ve mainained ourselves as a relatively peaceful country. However despite that violent crime is still very much prevalent causing a lot of poverty by discouraging economic activity. Not forgetting the terror calamity
The population of our armed forces is less than 100,000. Give everyone of them a firearm and that is only 100,000 legal firearms. Now go to pokot and turkana alone where every herdsboy has a firearm. Then go to north eastern before you even get to Nairobi. We are not talking of a mere increase in additional firearms. We are talking of a strategic increase
the illegal gun belt starts north of Lamu, follows the Tana to Tharaka/Garissa border, skirts Nyambene hills to Isiolo where it more or less follows the Ewaso Nyiro to Laikipia West, Mochongoi in Baringo East, North Baringo and E/Marakwet, West Pokot to Mt Elgon…That’s more than three quarters of Kenya fully armed, illegally…
Hii mambo ya reports, citations, comparisons, analysis, fear etc etc ndio imefanya we have not made any tangible steps towards improving security and safeguarding kenyans lives. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions.