Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has announced plans by the government to crackdown on landlords offering accommodation services outside Airbnb or licensed platforms.
In a statement on Sunday, January 28, Kuria said the government was concerned about the growing cases of crime and murders targeting women in short term rental spaces.
He acknowledged that most of the short-term rentals were operating outside the regulations or platforms of recognized brands such as the Airbnb, a move he termed as a major security threat.
“The government is very concerned about growing cases of crime and murders, mostly targeted at women in short term rental spaces.
“The government will crack down on people offering such services outside the AirBNB or other authorized and licensed platforms,” Kuria wrote.
Moses Kuria Joins Other Officials Commenting on Airbnb’s
With his remarks, Kuria becomes one of the latest government officials to comment on the alarming trend of women dying inside such rental rooms mostly due to attacks orchestrated by persons posing as their lovers.
Cases of brutal deaths including that of socialite Starlet Wahu and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) student Rita Waeni have taken over headlines in January 2024, leaving questions on which direction the nation was headed.
In response to the cases and public uproar, Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa condemned recent cases of violence waged against women and vowed to partner with law enforcement agencies to ensure all culprits are held accountable.
“We call for thorough and comprehensive investigations into these cases, and we ask anyone with information to come forward and assist authorities in efforts to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators,” Jumwa said.
New Airbnb Rules
On its part, the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) announced a raft of security measures aimed at ensuring accountability among users of the short-term rooms.
In a circular released by the Faizul Mohamed-led authority, Airbnb’s were asked to henceforth maintain a record of the identification details of occupants.
“At the entry of any premises or property within the jurisdiction and care of a private security service provider, a security guard or a security officer, the private security service provider, security guard or officer shall require a person to identify themselves, register the time of entrance and exit of the person and retain temporarily the identification document of such person,” read part of the regulations.
Meanwhile, various lobby groups have continued to pile pressure for action and end of the gender-based attacks on women.
On Saturday, January 27, women took to the streets of Nairobi to protests the surge in femicide related deaths and the subsequent blaming for some victims.