Proposed Amendments to the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014

We share the following information where Kenya Flower Council is a member.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance remains at the forefront of advocating for reforms geared towards improving the country’s overall business environment at the heart of which is the security of the citizenry. The continued pressure on the country’s national security has impacted negatively on Kenya’s attractiveness as a destination, as evidenced by the poor performance of the tourism industry which remains key to the development of the country. The woes facing the sector have rippled through to the average Kenyan impacting not only on tourism but also on employment, transport, and on suppliers from the agricultural sector alongside other service providers.

Now more than any other time in history, it is important that we as a country, review the laws and structures of our security system to meet the current security challenges facing the nation and the world as a whole. We must remain cognisant of the fact that terrorism is not unique to Kenya alone, as witnessed in this week’s siege in Sydney (Australia) and the massacre in Peshawar (Pakistan). This calls for a more global approach in the fight against terror. Our laws must reflect this new reality by not only safeguarding our national integrity as Kenya, but also creating a mechanism for collaboration with other countries who are faced with this new threat.

Overall security has a direct impact on each and every Kenyan, as all threats more so those that relate to terror, have had a profound impact on us all. In this regard it is important that all stakeholders participate in the formulation of an all-inclusive law geared towards safeguarding our ideals as a nation and in the best interest of all Kenyans. We as KEPSA wish to exercise her duty as a key stakeholder in the security sector. The private sector has a key role to play in fostering national security more so through security firms, technological deployment and generation of actionable intelligence.

Background
The National Assembly has begun considering a raft of amendments to the country’s security laws under the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014. The amendments which are currently under consideration by the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security seek to initiate amendments to various laws dealing with security that have been proposed. The proposed amendments have generated significant debate on account of their implications on freedoms guaranteed under the constitution and the need to ensure consistency with various laws on security.
It is important to emphasis that for any law to be effective, those charged with the responsibility of enforcing it, must also be held accountable. In this regard, it is crucial that security agencies and the police be subjected to the law, with provisions for similar punishment if they break or abuse the law. This is necessary to not only seal the loopholes in our security system, but also to protect the rights of Kenyan citizens, granted under the bill of rights as stipulated in the constitution.

KEPSA supports any initiative geared towards addressing operational and administrative challenges, that have thus far hindered the fight against crime and recognizes the need for clearly laid out legislation and policies, to enable security agencies play there role in safeguarding the nation. This legislation is particularly important in the evolving face of crime not only through terror but also through cybercrime, both of which call for radical reforms not only to security agencies but also at an individual level. Let us all endeavor to put into practice the words of our national anthem
‘And our homeland of Kenya,
Heritage of splendor
Firm may we stand to defend’
Source: Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA)

This entry was posted in December Issue 2 2014. Bookmark the permalink.