The Internal Security Organization (ISO) has taken at least 100 of the directors and top managers of private security firms to a security facility in Entebbe, Wakiso District, for retraining following a spate of gun violence by and against guards and curbing indiscipline and crime in their sector.
The training comes at a time when crime among private security guards is on the rise. At least four guards have either been killed or committed suicide in just three months.
The chairperson of the Uganda Private Security Association, Mr. Grace Matsiko, confirmed that their members are undergoing training for a period of one month.
Mr. Matsiko said that training of all directors and senior managers of the private security firms was planned long ago, but because of constraints on resources and the emergency of COVID-19, it didn’t take place. However, Mr. Matsiko has also denied that it was organized in regard to the gun violence that has rocked the country.
According to the 2022 police crime report, of the 383 criminal cases committed by security personnel, private security guards contributed to 248 offenses. Guards were involved in eight of those offenses that involved murder.
The number of private security firms in the country has risen to more than 100, while their guards’ number more than 120,000, according to police statistics, and the number of guards is double the personnel strength of the police, which is 54,000.
Mr. Grace added that when they did an assessment of the sector, there was a need to equip the directors and managers of the private security firms with skills in effective management of their companies, weapon handling, and the welfare of their workers.
“In a proposal to improve the professionalism of the sector in line with the government objective of protecting lives and property, they needed to have this training because our firms play a strategic role in national security and the country’s development,” he said.