Two arrested for allegedly attacking Uber Taxi drivers


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Two people were arrested for allegedly attacking a taxi operator in Nairobi as the Interior Ministry launched investigations into attacks targeting drivers affiliated to the taxi hailing company Uber.

Police say a gang smashed the rear window of an Uber taxi in Nairobi’s Kileleshwa area in an incident similar to several others reported in recent weeks.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry also “sent a strong word of caution to those behind the attacks and will ensure those behind the attacks will face the full wrath of the law.”

The Ministry says business rivalry should not be settled through attacks by criminal gangs.

Kilimani OCPD Peter Kattam says two suspects have been arrested in connection with the Kileleshwa attack and will be charged with malicious damage to property.

The Kenya Association of Taxi and Cabs has raised concerns over the entry of Uber taxi, which using a mobile app, are offering fares less than half the price charged by conventional taxis, a situation that has not settled in well with traditional taxi operators who will hold a strategy meeting Wednesday.

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.

Uber taxi drivers, however, 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 Bella Genga
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