Online taxi drivers have cited cases of mistreatment and harassment by Nairobi City County askaris especially at night.
According to drivers who spoke to Kahawa Tungu following several cases of mistreatment, the askaris who are in plain clothes start their ‘operation’ at 10pm.
The drivers reveal that the askaris move around in the city and if they find any online taxi driver they ask if its uber. Upon response, they faorce themselves inside the car.
If the drivers ask for job IDs, it is an invite for trouble for them “They beat you up and all of a sudden their seniors appear from nowhere and tell you that you have been arrested and you should drive your car to their yard at St Peters,” narrates one of the drivers.
According to the drivers, you have no right to ask any question at their office opposite St Peters.
“They surround you asking for money to release you and if you do not have they tell you to come the following day with Ksh10,000. If you ask for charge sheet to go to court they tell you that they do not give out charge sheets. Rather, they send you to city hall co-operative bank to pay impounded fees which you cant dispute anywhere,” adds the driver.
Drivers who have been previously arrested by the askaris say that they are not charged neither taken to court.
Following the arrests, most online taxi drivers are avoiding picking clients in the Central Business District and are calling upon governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko to delve into the issue.
“The online taxi drivers are suffering and they are even declining to pick clients in the city at night because of these arrests. To make the matter worse, non of them is taken to city magistrate court to face charges,” says the driver.
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