Monopolies won't solve digital problems in PCK

In Summary

• The Labour committee has proposed that Posta be given a monopoly of all mail deliveries weighing less than 350g

• The committee report also proposes that every company in Kenya should have its own registered letterbox

Posta House in Nairobi's CBD
DEAL NOT HONOURED: Posta House in Nairobi's CBD
Image: FILE

The Postal Corporation of Kenya has accumulated losses of Sh5.9 billion and is technically bankrupt.

The Labour committee of the National Assembly has just considered a petition for Posta to pay salary arrears to its staff (see P2).

Among the radical recommendations of the committee are that every company must have its own letterbox and every delivery under 350g must be carried by PCK.


These proposals are unworkable. There are one million registered businesses in Kenya and there are not that many post boxes.

A monopoly for delivery of all mail weighing less than 350g would break delivery companies like Nation Couriers. But it would also damage the economy. Instead of being able to send a contract from Mombasa to Kisumu rapidly by courier, while tracking it in real time online, we would be forced to rely on 'snail mail', not knowing when the letter would arrive, if ever.

The PCK is a victim of digital disruption. It can no longer compete successfully in the mail business. The solution is not for government to grant it monopolies but for it to expand other parts of its business such as small local banking.

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The Roman poet was born on December 8, 65 BC