The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) could soon settle the total outstanding obligations due for payment that it has failed to discharge to the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK), the chief logistics services provider in the Kenyan general election, 2022.
As per their three-year deal, reached months before the polls of last year on August 9, IEBC had agreed to pay Posta Ksh1.7 billion to transport voting gadgets and materials such as ballot boxes to various polling stations in the country.
However, until now, the cash-strapped postal service operator only received Ksh500 million upfront cash, merely 30% of the completion payment, and was used to secure the continuity of the critical logistical services during that electioneering period.
“The contract for logistical services we signed with IEBC was variated from Ksh700 million to Ksh1.7 billion. To date, IEBC has only paid us Ksh500 million, which means that they still owe us Ksh1.2 billion,” Posta’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Postmaster-General, Mr John Tonui was quoted in a recent interview.
Mr Tonui, who is counting on the recently proposed supplementary budget, says he is looking to the horizon with the hope that the electoral body will soon discharge the delayed cash compensation whose deferral has put Posta’s financial viability, normal service delivery, and staff sustainability at risk.
Only on 2nd November 2023, Posta employees, who are members of the Communication Workers Union of Kenya (COWU), Nakuru branch, threatened a stoppage, citing a five-month payday holdup, giving them financial stress in the tight economy.
“We are demanding our rights, and nothing and nobody shall stop us. We have not been paid for five months. We don’t understand what the management feels about this,” Celestine Obila, their union representative, said. “The landlords have kicked out some of our members from their houses. Those who don’t have their own homes are now sleeping in the Posta Kenya yards.”
Nonetheless, Mr Tonui, the Posta CEO, has reassured them that once IEBC settles the payment, the state corporation will sort out all pending bills that now stand at Ksh530 million.