The Interior and Co-ordination Ministry has weighed in on the ongoing tussle between regular taxi drivers and their competitors - partners of US tech firm Uber.
Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, through his spokesman Mwenda Njoka, vowed to protect Uber taxi drivers who have been under threat and a spate of physical attacks from competitors.
The Ministry emphasized on the importance of embracing the new technology in transport sector, noting that it was reliable, efficient and affordable.
“The government takes this opportunity to send a strong word of caution to those behind the attacks that such barbaric acts cannot and shall not be tolerated."
"Business rivalry should never be settled through attacks and intimidation but rather through the established legal mechanisms of resolving disputes.” he lamented.
The rivalry between the warring groups has been attributed to taxi service charges, owing to low rates by Uber taxis, hence stiffening competition to the detriment of regular taxis.
The move by the security department comes in the wake of WhatsApp messages on social media, from alleged taxi drivers (named Kenya United Cabs), showing how the operators were plotting to viciously get rid of the Uber drivers.
In one of the messages, a driver suggests to group members to download Uber's mobile application and request for the cabs, once inside the vehicle pour old oil on the car seats.
Another suggestion was to call in the cabs, then switch off their mobile phones immediately after making the request.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, one of the Uber drivers, confirmed that operators at Valley Arcade have several times been attacked especially when dropping off passengers.
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