Kenya's nearly 2000 private security firms and guards have less than four months to be vetted and comply with a new security law which will be fully implemented by the end of this year.

Kenya National Private Security Workers’ Union Secretary-General Isaac Andabwa said more than 500 registered guards would be vetted by the end of this year to get the green light to operate.

The union said offices had been established in Nairobi to screen all guards.

Those that will not have complied with the new Private Security (General) Regulations 2019 risk deregisteration after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i gazetted the regulations on July 5.

“In January, we shall not allow any guard to work if he/she has not acquired certificate of good conduct, which will only be issued after vetting has been done.

“Security firms will also be allowed to hire and run their businesses after meeting set standards among them provision of conducive working environment to its employees not forgetting the minimum wage,” said Mr Andabwa.

At the same time, some of guards will be trained to acquire special roles in January currently being undertaken by police.

“The new law allows the guards operate rapid response vehicles and it is in line with the government's intention to remove police officers in cash-in-transit work and those providing security to very important persons. In this sector, guards will have to be trained to handle different tools of trade such as guns.”

The new law is expected to professionalise the security sector and raise standards of living for guards as it provides the range of salaries to be paid.

In Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, for example, a private security officer is expected to earn a minimum wage of Sh27,993 for a night guard and Sh25,641 for a day guard.