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State yet to pay Posta Sh1.2bn for housing Huduma centres

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Huduma Centre in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Parliament’s budget and appropriation committee made the disclosure last week saying that the business strategy of PCK points to overreliance on the state.
  • In 2013, the government launched the Huduma centres to enhance efficiency in public service delivery by decentralising key services such as application and issuance of national identity card and birth certificate.
  • PCK hosts nearly half of the Huduma centres across the country but the Ministry of Public Service has been slow in paying it for the space.

The State has failed to pay Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) Sh1.2 billion in rent for hosting Huduma Centres, adding to the financial woes of the entity that is struggling to turn around its dwindling fortunes.

Parliament’s budget and appropriation committee made the disclosure last week saying that the business strategy of PCK points to overreliance on the state.

In 2013, the government launched the Huduma centres to enhance efficiency in public service delivery by decentralising key services such as application and issuance of national identity card and birth certificate.

PCK hosts nearly half of the Huduma centres across the country but the Ministry of Public Service has been slow in paying it for the space.

Some of the Huduma Centres housed by PCK include Nairobi (GPO), Kakamega, Nakuru, Meru, Mombasa, Machakos, Kisii, Bungoma, Marsabit and Isiolo.

Delayed payments from the ministry are hurting the cash flow position of an entity that told Parliament last September that it was seeking Sh1 billion annually from the Treasury.

“It is noted that the business strategy of PCK is not effective and if not fixed shall necessitate reliance on exchequer for the financing of its operational costs among other costs,” warned the Committee.

PCK had told Parliament that the Sh1 billion allocation will go towards meeting the corporations’ universal service obligation to Kenyans by ensuring the branches remain open.

The State corporation operates a vast network which currently stands at 623 post offices and partners with about 5,000 stamp vendor licensees across the country.

In the last 10 years, Internet service providers and the entry of giant telco Safaricom, have drastically cut reliance on Posta for the physical delivery of letters.