Posta has signed a contract to deliver 21 million books to primary and secondary schools, a shot in the arm for the State corporation that has been facing financial difficulties.
Postmaster-General Dan Kagwe told the Business Daily that Posta had struck the deal with the Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB), one of the publishers contracted by the government in a new scheme where the State is directly purchasing books for students.
In the first tranche, Posta will deliver three million books to Form One students by today.
For this, Posta is charging a fee of Sh15 per book, banking a total Sh45 million. Posta says that it will renegotiate its fee for delivering the other 18 million meant for Standard Seven and Eight pupils as well as Form Two, Form Three and Form Four students.
“It’s a great way for us to start the year, this is the kind of business we want to do — big government logistics,” said Mr Kagwe.
Last year Education secretary Fred Matiang’i said the government would begin buying textbooks for students directly, in a scheme that the ministry estimates will save the country Sh13.8 billion.
Julius Jwan, head of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), said the government plans to deliver 33 million books to schools in the first phase, meaning that Posta has a transport contract for more than half of the books.
KICD awarded tenders to five companies to publish the books for the first phase of the project — KLB, Moran Publishers, East Africa Publishers, Oxford University Press, and Longhorn Publishers.