Posta Kenya and Huduma centres locked in Sh1.7B wrangle

The Postal Corporation hosts a large number of Huduma centres in the country

File image of the G.P.O. Huduma Centre

Kenyans seeking services from Huduma centres may face disappointment if a stalemate between the Huduma centres and Postal Services of Kenya is not resolved.

The Postal Corporation of Kenya which houses a number of the centres has raised concerns over an accumulated Sh1.7 billion in rent arrears.

Should Kenya Posta pursue plans to evict the centres, not only will government service delivery be affected but also put crucial government data, which is held by the Huduma project, at risk.

Kenya Posta hosts the Kakamega, Nakuru, Meru, Mombasa, Machakos, Kisii, Bungoma, Marsabit and Isiolo Huduma centres at their post offices in the loctations.

Public Service Principal Secretary Mary Kimonye, speaking before Parliament’s Administration and Security Committee, advised the government - through the National Assembly - to help the facilities in permanently acquiring the spaces they currently occupy or find alternative spaces for them.

Functions of Kenya government's Huduma centres

Some of the services offered at Huduma centres include processing new identity cards and replacements when lost, application and issuance of certificates of good conduct, issuance of driver's licenses and other such services.

The centres were launched in 2013 in a bid to ease service delivery to the people and as part of the Vision 2030 flagship projects. Kimonye further told the committee there were plans to establish ten more centres and that some of the facilities needed expansion.

"Some of the Huduma Centres are very small like Embu and there is a need to acquire a bigger space,” the PS said.

Kimonye added that there is a need for urgency to boost funding for public services.

In the wake of Covid-19 the centres were also secured with Ministry of Health-approved protocols to curb the spread of the virus, including temporary closure to allow fumigation.

The efficiency of the centres post-Covid-19 has also been in question as a section of Kenyans say the booking system introduced did not aid efficiency at the centres.

Others have, however, argues that the cue management systems at the centres have improved the quality of services while maintaining the Covid-19 prevention measures.

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