, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – The government has formed a team to formulate rules that will govern online taxi operations following the ongoing stalemate between Uber and rival cabs in Kenya.
The directive was issued after a meeting convened by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho that brought together Kenya Taxi Cab Association officials, Uber, top security and Transport Ministry officials
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 will 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.
“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.
On Wednesday, Members of the Kenya Taxi Cab Association termed the entry of Uber taxi services in Nairobi as ‘neo-colonialism’ of the transport sector.
So far three people have been arrested in Kileleshwa in connection with clashes between the rival taxi operators.
The three will be arraigned in court to face charges of malicious damage to property.
Taxi operators’ representatives present during Monday’s meeting condemned attacks on rivals’ vehicles and disowned anyone engaged in such acts saying that such people are criminals who should be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“We embrace technology, rule of law and peace for all Kenyans,” the taxi operators said in statement read by an official, Job Nzioka during the meeting.