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Posta starts process to reactivate 450,000 post office boxes


Posta intends to activate 114,000 postal address boxes within the next three years. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya’s mailman is to reactivate 450,000 postal address boxes countrywide seeking to ride on the launch of its text message-linked service.

In a public notice, inviting key makers and lock repairers, the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) said it intends to activate 114,000 postal address boxes within the next three years.

The winning contractor is expected to fix at least 9,500 lockers every quarter for the next two years after which PCK will consider extending the contract for a third year based on performance.

“Eligible firms for provision of key cutting and servicing of letterbox locks will be contracted for a period of two years subject to extension for another one year based on the supplier performance in the period under review,” it says.

The development comes weeks after PCK announced growing its clientele by 150,000 following introduction of the text message-based alerts known as M-Post in partnership with Safaricom.

Users pay a fee of Sh300 per year, significantly cheaper than Sh2,000 charged on a normal post office box for the same period. PCK said bidders must fill applications and deposited tender documents by March 20 followed by opening of the tenders in the presence of bidders in the afternoon.

The keys should be made from mild steel and chrome-plated material, PCK says and prices quoted should have a 180-day validity period with bidders expected to post a Sh100,000 bond. Restoration of postal address boxes comes amid a gradual decline in the once popular culture of letter writing following technological advances that ushered in mobile phones, text messaging services, e-mail and the Internet.

Data from the Communications Authority of Kenya indicates first half 2019 recorded a 24 per cent fall from 11.2 million to 9.7 million units while in September, 2019, letters sent locally stood at 9.6 million units.