Panic as 6 taxi drivers killed in one year


Panic as 6 taxi drivers killed in one year

In Summary

  • Taxi drivers in the country have complained over cases of insecurity and increased harassment from both police and civilians while in the line of duty.
  • Led by (PUTON) Secretary General Wycliff Altulala, the drivers now want taxi companies to add in their hailing apps, an automatic call button for emergencies.
  • The union further called upon Interior CS Fred Matiang'i to step in and stop the continuous harassment of their colleagues at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Taxi drivers in the country have complained over cases of insecurity and increased harassment from both police and civilians while in the line of duty.

Speaking during a press conference on Thursday, the drivers revealed that six of their colleagues had been killed while in the line of duty in the past year alone, and that despite reporting the matters to relevant authorities, no action has been taken.

Led by the Public Transport Operators Union (PUTON) Secretary General Wycliff Altulala, the drivers now want taxi companies to add, in their hailing apps, an automatic call button for emergencies.

Although it is unclear whether other taxi companies, Safaricom’s Little Cab partnered with KK Security in 2017 for the successful simulation of a panic alert function on the mobile app.

The union further called upon Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to step in and stop the continuous harassment of their colleagues at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

“Yesterday (Wednesday) four of our drivers were arrested at JKIA and taken to the police station where they were each charged Ksh500 for dropping off passengers at Terminal A,” he said.

They also expressed distress at the rise in fuel prices in the country saying it was subjecting them to losses.

“When Uber came to Kenya in 2015, the price of petrol was Ksh74 per litre, it’s now Ksh108. This business no longer makes sense as we are not making money. We are also losing drivers due to working long shifts and driving to insecure places. Drivers are now also demanding for day and night shifts to have different rates. Currently, night trips cost Ksh.100 per kilometer while day go for Ksh.80,” said Altulala.

They also accused app-based taxi companies of continuously deactivating accounts of drivers without notice.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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