Online drivers boycott Uber,Bolt apps over low pay

By Obegi Malack

obegimalack@gmail.com

Uber, Bolt and Little Cab drivers in Magadi Road zone have started their protests against online companies Uber and Bolt.

The drivers including those operating in Nairobi County switched off their Apps until the companies act by amending their rates.

The drivers who addressed the media in Siron Place Ongata Rongai demanded the companies to reduce their commissions and increase rates so that they can earn decent wages, led by their chairperson Julius Nyambok and vice chair Patrick Mburugu also gave an order to Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Transport, James Macharia to gazette the Digital Taxi Regulations (TNC Rules 2022) which had been passed by the Senate in 2019.

Nyambok said the commission should be lowered to 10 percent, they noted that they cannot maintain their cars with the rates. Other issues that they raised is insecurity and pathetic roads.

Mburugu accused the CS ignored to gazette the regulations, which he said had passed through public participation and other required channels.

Samwel Gathara secretary said they had given the online companies one week notice which they failed to act upon.

“The new law will bring sanity on our roads, we down our tools to demand gazettement of the laws and the companies to reconsider their terms,” he said.

They also claimed some of their customers are thugs who turn against them and refuse to pay, they also complained of pathetic roads in the area and challenged the county and national government to offer services.

The law if gazetted will require international digital taxi firms to set up offices in Kenya and pay an application fee of Sh500,000 and an annual renewal fee of Sh300,000.

The law also required the commission to be lowered to 16 percent from 25 percent.

Uber and Bolt, through a letter to the  CS dated 29 November 2021 had objected the lowering of the commission claiming that it was discriminatory and disincentivizing to investment in the industry.

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