Commercialized Security and National Security in Nairobi City County, Kenya.
Mutonyi, Gerald Peter
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In Kenya, the maintenance of security for the citizens had traditionally been the state‟s duty. However, non-state actors have come up to offer security to those who can afford to buy it. Despite this development, few studies have examined commercialized security and national security. Using Security Governance theory and Network Analysis theory, this study sought to examine commercialized security and national security. The study adopted a cross sectional survey design, and was carried out in Nairobi amongst the adult residents classified as either consumers or providers of commercial security industry (CSI). Clustering of the County into constituencies and wards was by purposive sampling. Purposive sampling was used to select those who purchase or manage CSI services for their organizations as well as management of the CSI firms. The general public and security guards were systematically sampled. A questionnaire, interview guide and structured observation were instruments of data collection. Quantitative data was analyzed by both descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics mainly frequency distributions were used to summarize the results facilitating in analysis of the key findings as well as presentation of findings. Inferential statistics specifically multiple regression analysis was used to predict the contributions of specific CSI services on national security and in drawing conclusions of overall effects. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically. Qualitative and quantitative data were triangulated to provide robust illustrations of key findings. The findings of the study revealled that CSI makes a positive significant contribution to national security: F (4, 369) = 9.42, p ˂ .001, R2 = .093. The results of the regression indicated that the model explained 9.3% of the variance. As regards the specific services, the results demonstrate that (1) Manned guarding significantly contributes to the 26 % of outcome of the CSI B = .260, β = .135, P = .007; (2) Alarm and Electronics 22.9 %; B = .229, β = .224, P = .001; (3) CVIT security service contributes significantly and positively at 10.8 %; B = .108, β = .118, P = .018. While CSI investigative service 3.6 % (B = .036, β = .084, P < = .103 although it was not significant. From qualitative data the participants narrated that the manned guarding as a service of CSI increases the visible presence of security agents in the environment a factor that discourages criminal activities and provides feelings of safety, Alarms and electronics were said to detection of criminal and harmful activities hence intervening in stopping crime, intelligence on criminal activities through surveillance, and creating a culture of security and crime awareness all which contribute to enhancing national security. However, despite valuable contributions CSI was limited in several ways which could explain the relatively low but significant contribution to the national security. The limitations include; not being armed with firearms, poor working conditions of security personnel, lack of courtesy by guards, lack of trust by the state security agencies, lack of regulation and licensing and security personnel who are not adequately trained. In relation to best practices, the study found improved working conditions of the security personnel, adequate training and development for the security personnel, cooperation with the state security agencies, after sale service, and enforcement of regulations, could help improve the CSI services hence increase their contribution to the national security. The study concludes, that CSI though motivated by profit making plays, a significant role that enhances state capacity in provision of security as well as contributes to safety of citizens. Based on the findings, the study recommends effective regularization of CSI as well collaboration between with state security agents.