Private Security Companies Ordered to Cease Contributions to COTU

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli during a meeting with Affiliated General Secretaries, April 5, 2024.

The Central Organisation for Trade Unions (COTU) has suffered a blow after the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) ordered security guards to cease contributions to the union.

In a statement issued by the Chief Executive Officer of PSRA, Fazul Mahamed, all private companies will be required to cease their contributions with the order taking effect immediately.

PSRA explained that COTU has failed in its mandate of advocating for the rights of the security workers despite their significant membership and contributions.

“Regrettably, notwithstanding their significant financial contributions, COTU has not lived up to its mandate and has persistently disregarded, declined, and/or neglected to advocate for their rights,” read the statement in part.

PSRA CEO Fazul Mahamed holding a GFN during a meeting on Thursday February 22, 2024
PSRA CEO Fazul Mahamed holding a GFN during a meeting on Thursday, February 22, 2024

Additionally, the Authority faulted COTU for its failure to ensure that the private security workers received a minimum wage as earlier proposed.

PSRA through Mahamed argued that private security workers contribute to 1.3 million of COTU’s membership.

According to Fazul, each of the workers pay is deducted a fee ranging from Ksh150 to Ksh620 depending on their salary range.

The regulatory authority has also stated that they have instituted an investigation into the collection and use of all the finances that have been deducted from the security workers.

PSRA, therefore averred that its preliminary investigations showed that its members had made contributions amounting to billions of shillings to the Francis Atwoli-led union.

Moreover, PSRA warned private security firms that any organisation, heading into the future, found culpable of violating this directive risked having their license revoked.

“Any private security company that continues to deduct and remit the said fees to the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), SHALL be subjected to a statutory review of its registration and licensing status in accordance with Section 32 of the Act,” explained PSRA.

This directive comes after the government rejected the authority's plan to have the security firms pay their workers  a minimum of Ksh30,000 monthly.

A picture of security guards preparing for inspection during the launch of Guard Force Numbers (GFNs), March 30.