Bouncers in Kenya have asked the government to allow them the right to hold guns in the line of duty.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, January, 17, the Bouncers Association of Kenya also asked the government to train them on how to handle firearms properly.
They argued that it was essential that they carry guns because they encounter all types of life-threatening dangers. They said they interact with firearm holders regularly and this leaves them at a constant disadvantage.
“Security stewards are every day dealing with threats of people who are licensed or unlicensed firearm holders. We are dealing with robbers and terrorists and different kinds of threats. It is very efficient and very important for members of our organisation to basically know gun safety,” said Chairman Brian Omondi.
The security stewards additionally want the government to address their welfare concerns and ensure the rights of all members and their place in society can be properly secured.
“This work is what puts food on the table for many people, okay? And this job some of us have not done anything else in our lives, apart from being security, personnel,” they said.
Further, the bouncers asked President William Ruto to place them under the Interior Ministry, saying they can work alongside the police and other security agents to help protect Kenyans.
Brian Ongore, Chairperson of Aegis Stewards Association, explained that by partnering with the National Police Service, the bouncers will act as the eyes and ears of the service, obtaining firsthand information about security matters.
“As security stewards, we have a huge role to play in ensuring security in clubs, hotels…We request to be placed under the Ministry of Interior and even at county levels to correct the wrongs that were made by our predecessors and to ensure security of law-abiding citizens,” said Mr Ongore.
The bouncers’ demands come amid calls for all bouncers to register themselves with the association pending training mid-this year.
The Private Security Regulatory Authority will conduct the training on basic safety skills such as close combat, public relations, self defence, fire safety and electrical surveillance.
“We do not want to see hooligans acting in the place of stewards so that when anything bad happens we get blamed. We want to make sure that this industry is one where one can have a noble career that will attract students,” Ongore said.
“With regards to firearms, we are working in partnership with the National Gun Owners Association…it is important to know about gun safety. It is equally important for the National Police Service to handle this kind of training so that we know how to disarm rogue firearm holders and how to contain situations of attack.”
“We will have a specific curriculum for one to qualify for membership. We want government support so that if you are not registered with us, you will not be allowed to work,” he added.