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Editorials

EDITORIAL: Resolve taxi dispute

Striking Uber drivers
Striking Uber drivers park vehicles at Uhuru Park in Nairobi in the past over pricing of ride. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The ongoing strike by digital taxi drivers is no doubt a huge cost to the economy. Digital taxis have become entrenched participants in the Kenyan economy and play a critical role in keeping the economy on the move. It is only appropriate that the drivers’ grievances are addressed in a way that is mutually acceptable and that ensures smooth running of operations.

This is not the first time such protests are happening. The taxi drivers’ association claims a memorandum of understanding signed between them and the digital taxi firms has not been honoured.

While this may or may not be the case, the response from the taxi firms has not been helpful. Some of the reactions make them seem high-handed, which is only likely to inflame the matter.

The taxi drivers, on the other hand, should not appear to be greedy, at the expense of the ordinary citizens who consume their services. The main reason the digital taxi services have become so alluring to many people is their relative affordability.

Ultimately, the solution lies in dialogue and an understanding that each party needs the other. The prudent thing is to come together and discuss a way out. The digital taxi firms could, for instance, through joint deliberations, come up with a solution that is tailored to the local market.

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, which could even include ceding a little share of the commissions that they get. The drivers could also drop their high demands for a lesser alternative.

Rather than resort to intransigence, it would also be helpful if both sides could formalise a working relationship so that any issues arising are promptly addressed, rather than continue having temporary ceasefires that easily flame up.

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