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Private security companies not supervising guards-Police

FILE PHOTO: Tiger security company

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Acting head of Private Security and Firearms Department in Uganda Police, Apollo Kateeba, has said that cases of security guards killing civilians are as a result of lack of supervision.

His comments follow the death of Ainebyoona Mugisha who was on Tuesday shot dead by Moses Angoria, a security guard at Quality Supermarket in Naalya.

Meeting directors, operations managers, and supervisors of private security firms in Fort Portal on Friday, Kateeba noted that the Naalya incident and many others would not have happened if the security guards were being supervised by the companies.

He says that private security companies are supposed to have supervisors whose job is to regularly check the performance of the guards.

Kateeba said that most of the security guards are not trained enough to handle some situations. He added that the department will move to close all companies that lack the requirements.

Some of the requirements he stated include certificate of incorporation, permanent and fenced offices, receipts indicating full payment of monthly salaries for the guards, and proof that hired guns from police are paid for.

Grace Matsiko, the National Chairman of Uganda Private Security Companies Association, admitted that there are loopholes in the training of security guards and their supervision.

He said that as an association, they are in advanced stages of establishing a training school for security guards.

Pascal Tugume, who represented Saracen Security Limited regretted the Naalya incident, saying that the firm is doing all it takes to ensure such incidents don’t happen again.





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  5. Don’t try to sell anything here, because this is not the channel for you to pitch your products. I am sure Andrew is laboring to expose a problem, and not offer you all short sighted self-centered vultures a free lunch; who desperately try to sell your products on here.

    First of all, the problem is not lack of equipment of BWV cameras, or training services. You should be contributing to the solution, not sell.

    Andrew just block all these guys trying to sell from your platform. Either they pay and put commercials on the site, or block their comments. They are losers.

    In the meantime, I came here because I am finalizing some operational procedures for launching my own Private Military Company based out of the US. I am a Uganda and hoped I would take a look at this case. The real issue is that private security company is booming industry elsewhere. However, regulation in Uganda has lagged behind, and requirements as well as the guidelines in terms of oversight by the monitoring government body has not improved for years.

    In fact when I see the comments made by the government official in response to the incident, it comes as absurd. Still the same old blaming tactics, and simplistic approach to systemic problems. For instance, this official claims that the “companies are not supervising the guards” forgetting that the company and the guards are the same. Indeed, there is really no company aside from its guards. Probably he should have referred to Management.

    But that put aside, I see that also when he makes a list of requirements, the kind of requirements he gives are really trivial and don’t address the problem. For instance, he insinuates that there are some PSC operating without a certificate of incorporation. Even if that were true, there is no way that would be the real cause of the problem. At the end of the day, any company which operates without a license is operating illegally; not because it’s a PSC.

    The list of requirements the official lists are interesting because they have nothing to do with the problem: He mentions the monthly payment of guards on time, the timely payment for the hired police guns and having permanent and fenced offices. All these could be in place, and still the incident like that highlighted in the article would still appear. This is absurd that a goverment official misses the point himself, but rather focuses on diversionary tactics and threats. I am sure his meeting with the PSC directors, ended up being the usual scare tactics thing.

    What I expected from this official was to list the real issues and provide solutions. First and foremost; the incident in Nalya was unfortunate. Nevertheless, ther is need to address the overall problems in the Private Security Companies industry.

    Training is one area he indicated. But on the larger scale; who trains these security guards.What are the pre-qualifications of the directors of private security companies? For instance, any business man merely seeking financial gain would not be allowed to start a private security company. The ethical demands of running a security company go beyond mere profit. It would be a strong requirement that such companies have at least 51% of their owners as former military or uniform service men in good standing prior to their retirment from the service.

    2) Training needs to be provided by approved “security training companies” in this case, these companies could be owned by Uganda forces.

    3)Guards must adhere to a strict code of conduct, including tactical handling of situations. Simply because a warm body is in a uniform with probably a machine gun, doesn’t imply security. Merely using a weapon as a scare tactic is no longer enough because security threats extend beyond physical confrontation. These security guidelines must force PSC to put in place routines that guarantee that there is actually an actual “process of securing any kind of facility under guard”.

    Usually insecurity arises when there is a lapse in communication; and command and control is lost when no procedures are enforced by “supervising agencies of the government”. Dont forget, all private companies care about is profit. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as long the “government supervising entity” really does its job such as setting meaningful guidelines for conducting a private security operation; beyond the trivial certificate of incorporation and having permanent and fenced building etc.
    Think of the banking; a bank handles people’s money or life savings. It may have all these so called requirements as listed by this official and yet if the government agency responsible for supervising the bank, you can be sure these petty requirements will not prevent the people from losing their money thru this bank.

    This is the case with private security companies. They deal with people’s property and assets. And because they carry weapons have people’s lives in their hands. So any misconduct, or unprofessionalism can lead to loss of property, assets and life. A private guard can use the weapon to rob, or even fail to tactically handle a security threat and result into a loss of life as was the case in the Nalya incident.

    None of these are simplistic issues as expressed by the official. Private security guards also need a high level of ethical code as used by military and the police. But the private entrepreneur will not set these conditions for himself if the government officials who should be setting these kind of conditions are left to petty concerns and scare tactics.

    In the final analysis, the situation is systemic. Because those who should be doing the heavy lifting are not doing it at all, and expect the lower service men to operate perfect. It’s like having untrained soldiers on the battle field. They will rob and rape, and many times result into civilians fatalities because of lack of “professionalism” This is the same case with the incident.
    might have just b Nalya

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