Association protests exclusion from Uber talks

February 11, 2016 3:26 pm
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“We want the PS to call for another meeting consisting of all the stakeholders,” he said. “Our officials are more than ready to meet the PS so that he can hear our grievances”/FILE
“We want the PS to call for another meeting consisting of all the stakeholders,” he said. “Our officials are more than ready to meet the PS so that he can hear our grievances”/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11 – Another taxi association has now emerged saying it was sidelined from a meeting called by the Interior Ministry to address the business rivalry with Uber.

The Kenya United Taxi Organisation Spokesman Mwangi Mubia says they learnt from the press that Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho was meeting taxi association officials.

Overview

The organisation cautioned that it will not be bound by resolutions of Monday’s meeting, between the government and the Kenya Taxi Cab Association which was convened following threats and attacks on Uber drivers.

A team was formed last week to resolve the standoff and come up guidelines for online taxi operations in Kenya.

The organisation cautioned that it will not be bound by resolutions of Monday’s meeting, between the government and the Kenya Taxi Cab Association which was convened following threats and attacks on Uber drivers.

“We want the PS to call for another meeting consisting of all the stakeholders,” he said. “Our officials are more than ready to meet the PS so that he can hear our grievances.”

The organisation accused their counterparts the Kenya Cab Taxi Association of ‘hijacking’ their agenda.

He insisted that Uber must not be allowed “to monopolize the taxi business.”

On the question of whether they were willing to join Uber, he said the standards are high. “They only want specific vehicles.”

He said already a similar application like that of Uber will be launched soon.

A team was formed last week to resolve the standoff and come up guidelines for online taxi operations in Kenya.

The team led by Competition Authority of Kenya Director General Wang’ombe Kariuki has been given two weeks to send a report to the ministry.

The stakeholders committee comprise the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Nairobi County Government, Kenya Investments Authority, KEPSA and representatives of registered taxi business organisations.

The committee’s report will incorporate the drafting of laws to govern online taxi operations. Presently the County Government is in the process of deliberating the Nairobi County Taxi Cabs Bill (2015).

Kibicho and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet warned that anyone disrupting Uber taxi operations will face the full force of the law.

READ: Nairobi taxis want to drive Uber out of town

“Let me make it very clear that any person engaged in acts of lawlessness will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law. We have an established mechanism of resolving disputes, and lawlessness is not one of them,” Kibicho said.

Monday’s meeting was a follow up to a directive given last week by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Joseph Nkaissery for Kibicho to convene a stakeholders’ meeting to resolve the dispute between the taxi operators.

The conventional taxis had issued a seven-day ultimatum for the crisis to be resolved with operators threatening to block key roads in Nairobi unless Uber exits the Kenyan market.

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