Our hands are tied, cries Taxify as more abuse victims speak out
Taxify has spoken out for the first time following several claims that their partner drivers assaulted or insulted their passengers.
In an interview with NTV from Estonia, Regional General supply manager Shivachi Muleji appeared to resign to fate saying the company could only do so much.
“Even if we report the driver to the police, there is no employer-employee relationship between us and the drivers. And that very nature of our relationship puts a limit to how far we can go with legally disciplining these drivers beyond just taking away access to the platform,” said Muleji.
He said this as a third victim Rose Ntong’ondu came out to reveal her ordeal in the hands of a Taxify driver.
“For some reason the driver was not very happy with the location that I had put. So he went off on the phone. So when he started getting all rude, I cancelled the journey. He tried calling me, I would hang up. And for the next like one hour and half, it was just insults and threats saying he was going to put me in a wheelchair and they were going to make us respect drivers,” she said.
Another victim Gloria Mulwa, who was 38 weeks pregnant when she was attacked, said the driver Steven Nzau turned violent when she refused to leave her change. The driver had promised to send her the money via M-Pesa. “He started hitting me on the side of my belly,” she recalled in an interview with the station. She said she had to go for checkups to ensure that her unborn baby was ok. She eventually delivered a healthy baby.
The first to come out was Wankio Nyainda who said the driver was aggravated by the cost of the ride that he made between USIU and Thindigwa.
She said the company has offered her a paltry Sh3,000 as compensation, which she has turned down and deleted the app.
But Mr Muleji says the company sympathizes with the victims of all the cases and promised to ensure the that their services are safe.
“There are things that we’ll keep doing to ensure that there’s more safety for riders and for drivers,” he said.
“We train these drivers. And one of the things we train them on is customer service. We train them on how to treat people.”
Taxify, he adds, vets drivers thoroughly using supporting documents from government agencies such as NTSA. Rating of the driver post the trip and a panic button –currently only available to drivers- are the other measures.