Probe taxi hailing firms, Makueni Senator tells Parliament

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Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo has beseeched the National Assembly to look into the wellbeing of local taxi drivers operating under taxi hailing apps such as Uber and Bolt following the drivers’ go slow since last week Monday.

The taxi drivers have been on strike since last week and having been protesting against reduced earnings among a host of other grievances such as guarantee of driver safety and the re-evaluation of the safety standards for the taxis. The current go slow was preceded by a similar strike that happened 10 months ago.

In a letter addressed to the Senate Committee on Labour and Social Welfare dated July 19, Senator Kilonzo has urged Parliament to look into the local taxi app landscape in order to bring to an end the ongoing dispute between the drivers and their employers. The two-week long dispute has left many Kenyans dependent on the cab services for transportation stranded.

He similarly questioned the contribution of cab services such as Uber and Bolt to the Kenyan economy underscoring that the firms could be exploiting local drivers through questionable profit agreements that only seem to favour the taxi hailing firms over the drivers.

“Explain the payment agreements between the drivers, apps managers and business partnerships, among others, under Kenyan law and or any other legislation,” Senator Kilonzo said in the letter addressed to the Senate Committee on Labour and Social Welfare.

“Explain the rationale for the remission by the drivers of 25 percent of their collection, which is unfair labour practice tantamount to latter-day slavery and violates the minimum wage principle under the country’s labour laws,” Senator Kilonzo added.

Senator Kilonzo consequently called for a sit down for all players in the taxi service industry in order to address the ongoing stalemate.

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