Four men torch Uber car in Kenya as service expands

Incident, from which driver escaped unhurt, came on day motor sharing service began in Mombasa

A Jakarta taxi driver stands on his car during a protest against transportation apps with a sign reading ‘Remove!! Uber, Grab’. Four men torched a car from the lift hailing company Uber in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Wednesday, police said. Photograph: Beawiharta/Reuters.

A Jakarta taxi driver stands on his car during a protest against transportation apps with a sign reading ‘Remove!! Uber, Grab’. Four men torched a car from the lift hailing company Uber in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Wednesday, police said. Photograph: Beawiharta/Reuters.

 

Four men torched a car from the lift hailing company Uber in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Wednesday, police said.

The incident occurred on the same day Uber broadened its service into Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city.

The driver escaped unhurt, police said. It was the second attack against Uber cars in Kenya in two months.

Uber drivers around the world have faced threats, protests and legal action from regular taxi operators, who say Uber’s cheaper fares and business model are driving them out of business.

In Kenya, regular cab drivers last month threatened to paralyse transport if the government did not ban Uber from Nairobi within seven days.

The government refused, but said it was drafting new laws on the regulation of online taxi operators.

“The driver, sensing danger, escaped unhurt and four men torched the car,” Japheth Koome, Nairobi’s police commander said.

In a statement emailed from Uber’s office in South Africa, the company said it was in “open dialogue” with the police over the attack.

The company now operates in nine cities in sub-Saharan Africa, including in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

An Uber driver was attacked and his car was torched in Kenya last month, unnerving many of the company’s drivers.

Reuters