Private security firms are staring at closure over accrued debts especially by government agencies, ministries and parastatals.
The security firms have complained of non-payment some over a period of six months.
According to the Protective Security Industry Association (PSIA), the firms are owed a sum of Sh3 billion.
Ministry of Sports is top on the list of debtors having delayed a payment of some Sh25 million for services rendered in nine months.
Also on the list is Ministry of Health which is yet to settle a Sh137 million bill for security services provided in various agencies.
The Judiciary owes the firms Sh87 million for services provided in the last four months. The governor Mike Sonko-led county government has not paid the security providers for five months. The firms are owed Sh122 million.
Others are; Uchumi Supermarkets (Sh42 million), Kenya Railways Corporation (Sh30 million), Migori County (Sh18 million) and Busia County (Sh13 million).
Also making the list of debtors are; Treasury (Sh4 million), Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (Sh1.3 million), Water Resources Authority (Sh2 million) and National Museums of Kenya (Sh4 million).
Through their chair, Cosmas Mutava, the association called on the government to expedite the payment so as to safeguard the livelihoods of over 700,000 security guards.
Mr Mutava noted that some 20,000 guards had lost their jobs between the months of March and August due to closure of certain businesses such as hotels.
Should the firms shut down operations, he stated, the consequences would be “regrettable.”
“If we don’t get paid, then we run the risk of laying off our staff during these tough times and eventually closing shop. The impact of that to the industry would be regrettable,” he said.
“We have seen clients who were employing about 40 guards reducing the numbers to eight, to only cover key sections of institutions that cannot be left unmanned. These are entry points and, say, finance offices. The clients did this to manage their wage bill.”
The association also wants the government to introduce free COVID-19 testing.
“We are now required to pay for the guards’ tests and train them on how to use the thermal guns before assigning them duties.”