Huduma Centres facing closure for rent arrears

Huduma Centres across the country are facing closure for rent areas totalling Sh1.7 billion.

The money is owed to the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK), which houses the Huduma Centres in question.

This was revealed by the Public Service ministry which told Parliament that PCK hosts nearly half of the Huduma centres across the country and that the Ministry of Public Service has been slow in paying it for the space.

“Posta is demanding Sh1.7 billion in rent arrears that have accumulated for hosting the Huduma Centres,” Ms Mary Kimonye, the Public Service Principal Secretary told the Administration and Security committee during the scrutiny of the 2022/23 budget policy statement (BPS).

“Some of the Huduma Centres are now being evicted and government data risks being compromised,” she said.

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

She also told the committee that Posta has also started renting out its facilities to retail Kiosks, which pose further risk to the government’s data.

“The Postal Corporation of Kenya is licensing kiosks in their premises around the Huduma Centers, hence posing a huge threat of compromising crucial government data,” she said.

Kimonye suggested that in the coming budget, the parliament should allocate more funds to the Public Service Ministry.

This, she said would allow them to acquire the said premises or other government-owned facilities.

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

Huduma Centres are one-stop shops that offer a wide range of government services including certificates of good conduct, driving license, assessment of stamp duty and franking of documents.

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