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Uber car burned as tension rises with taxi operators in Kenya

Published 22/02/2016

Police said they have received complaints of harassment from Uber drivers
Police said they have received complaints of harassment from Uber drivers

An Uber car has been ambushed and burned as tensions continue to escalate between conventional taxi operators and drivers of the ride-sharing app, a Kenyan police official said.

Nairobi police chief Japhet Koome said that the Uber driver was injured in the attack on Sunday night. He promised tough police action against the violence.

Mr Koome said police have received complaints from Uber drivers of harassment by taxi operators but the burning of an Uber car signifies an escalation.

Taxi operators in Kenya earlier this month asked the government to stop the operations of Uber, which has become popular because of its cheaper fares.

The incident occurred as the government's interior ministry and director of competition are mediating the trade conflict between the rival groups.

"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," internal security principal secretary Karanja Kibicho warned a week ago after meeting with taxi and Uber representatives.

Uber said in a statement last week: "We are working with all relevant stakeholders in Nairobi and Kenya to resolve this as a matter of urgency. We hope tourists, business travellers and residents alike can enjoy a safe, affordable, hassle-free time travelling however they choose to get around Nairobi."

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