Nkaissery directs his PS to resolve the Uber-Taxi wars

Nkaissery directs his PS to resolve the Uber-Taxi wars

Interior Cabinet Secretary Major Gen. (Rtd.) Joseph Nkaissery has directed his Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho to convene a meeting between Uber Taxi firm and Kenya Taxi operators to find a lasting solution to their rivalry between the two services providers.

Nkaissery has, however, rubbished the 7 day ultimatum by the Kenya United Taxi Association to the government to address eject Uber from the Kenyan market terming it as a criminal condition that the government cannot take lightly.

On Wednesday, the Kenya United Taxi Organisation issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government to solve the standoff between them and Uber failure to which they threatened to hold demonstrations and block major roads in the country’s economic capital of Nairobi.

According to the organisation’s spokesperson Ashford Mwangi, at the end of the seven-days, the taxi drivers will park their cars and peacefully demonstrate on the streets of Nairobi in a bid to kick out the competing organisation.

“No investor jumps onto an ongoing business without consulting stakeholders involved like Uber has done,” said Mwangi.

“No investor should drive away locals like Uber is trying to do and no investor should stimulate a strategy that will bring monopoly in order to retain business after they drive everyone else away.”

The Kenya Association of Taxi and Cabs has been raised concerns since the entry of Uber, which uses a mobile app and offers fares less than half the price charged by conventional taxis, into the Kenyan market, a situation that has not settled in well with the tradition.

The attacks have added Nairobi to the list of over 300 cities where Uber has ‘disrupted’ the taxi business with fares as low as 90 shillings a kilometer, almost less the price charged by ordinary taxis.

Traditional taxis operate from specific stations like in Nairobi’s Central Business District, which costs at least 6 thousand shillings per month in county government charges while Uber taxi drivers operate in hubs, where they get customers on call, sparing them parking space fees.

Uber taxi app was launched in Nairobi in January last year, with the US firm looking to leverage on the country’s 19.8 million mobile internet subscribers.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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