News / Africa

    Uber Car Burned In Nairobi; Driver Escapes

    FILE - Tensions are rising between Kenyan taxi companies and Uber, as the ride-sharing company launched services Wednesday in the city of Mombasa.
    FILE - Tensions are rising between Kenyan taxi companies and Uber, as the ride-sharing company launched services Wednesday in the city of Mombasa.

    Four men burned a car from the ride-sharing company Uber on Wednesday, the same day Uber launched services in the city of Mombasa, police in Kenya’s capital say.

    Tensions between Kenyan taxi companies and Uber have risen over the past month, as cab drivers say Uber's ride-hailing app and lower fares hamper their ability to earn a living. 

    Police say that in Wednesday's incident, a man hired an Uber driver to take him to the fringe of Nairobi and instructed the driver to pull over in a dark alley. The driver told police that, once there, four men approached the vehicle and tried to restrain him.

    The driver was able to evade the would-be attackers, who burned the car completely.

    This was the second time in a month that men have torched an Uber car in Kenya.

    Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome told reporters that his agency is attempting to stop the violence against Uber drivers.

    "We are determined to end this madness where people are maliciously attacking and damaging other people's property," he said.

    Last month, taxi drivers asked government officials to ban Uber from operating in Kenya and threatened mass demonstrations if the government did not comply.

    Officials refused to ban the new business, but said it is in the process of regulating the online taxi service.

    Uber now has operations in nine sub-Saharan African cities and is continuing to expand.

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