By Jude Titus
The Kenyan government has ordered Uber and the Kenya Taxi Owners Association to amicably solve the recent stalemate between them through dialogue.
Through the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, the government has directed the Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho to intervene and arrange an urgent meeting between the taxi drivers and Uber management before the feud escalates further.
The two taxi service providers have recently clashed in what the taxi association claims as an unfair game that Uber is playing in the industry. Uber’s pricing model has been the bone of contention in the 58 countries that it has ventured into.
Conventional taxi operators have been arguing that Uber’s cheaper charges are killing their businesses and rendering them jobless.
The recent violence against Uber drivers and threats to kick them out of the country has alarmed the government and now the CS has ordered them to meet up, dialogue and solve the issue out. He was speaking at the Kenya School of government when he mandated the Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho to intervene in the matter.
“They must meet and dialogue. This issue of violence will not be tolerated. The PS here will see to it that they meet and agree. We cannot have people destroying each other’s properties in the name of business wars,” he said.
The interior ministry had on Tuesday vowed to deal with the perpetrators of the violence against Uber drivers and stated categorically that business rivalry should not be handled with threats, war or intimidation but rather follow the right legal procedures.
Interior ministry’s spokesman Mwenda Njoka had said in a statement that the Kenya police have launched investigations into the syndicate and will ensure the people behind the attacks face the full wrath of the law.
So far two suspects have been arraigned in court for orchestrating violence against Uber taxis.