City taxi driver beaten, passengers leave without paying
It was an uneventful Sunday evening for James Kimani, the owner of Jim Cabs2, when he decided to go to work at his taxi and car hire business.
James logged into his account on a taxi hailing app and immediately received a request by a client who wanted to be taken to from Kahawa Sukari roundabout to Garden City mall. He accepted the request and immediately went to pick the passengers.
“I arrived at Kahawa Sukari at 7.45 pm and found a gentleman standing with a lady. From the app I could see that I was picking Boniface. The guy sat on the back left with the lady on the right and I started the trip,” said James.
But drama quickly unfolded when they arrived at the destination.
“Upon arrival at Garden City I reached out to my phone to end the trip and unfortunately I realised that the application was hanging and several attempts to end the trip brought up an error message and (the app) reset itself back to the start fare of the trip which was sh150,” narrated James.
He added: “I then decided to talk to the client and tell him about the issue. I displayed my phone screen to them and told them that unfortunately we have an error with the app pricing and I would wish to request for them to tell me the price estimate that they were given on their end by the app so that we can work with that.”
The passenger responded by exploding in anger. He kicked the front passenger seat, causing it to learn forward, and started raining blows on the driver.
“My body was exposed to him as he had knocked off the front passenger seat, breaking it. To my surprise he started to y punch me on my underarm below the lungs and several blows to my head,” said James.
Attempts to talk to the passenger were futile as he became more aggressive. His co-passenger was all along wailing in tears.
James decided to drive ahead to where boda boda riders were stationed.
“I braked where the boda bodas were, and with the passenger still holding my shirt, I took my phone and dialled the SOS button that is provided by the taxi app system and a KK security guard answered and I told him that I was being assaulted and my life could be in danger,” said James.
When the passenger heard the conversation he was having with the security guard, he alighted from the car with his co-passenger.
With the assailant out of his car, James drive off and stopped at Roysambu to recollect his thoughts.
“I got to Roysambu and I was in a lot of pain and I decided to go to the nearest medical facility where I received treatment. I then proceeded to Kasarani Police station where I reported the incident.”
He wants to create awareness on challenges faced by taxi drivers.
“The online taxis have lost a number of drivers to murder or assaults. So this is not something that is not just personal to me, it is an eye opener to the kind of risks that we as a community must look into.”
“I also sympathise with passengers who have met rogue taxi drivers and we must also ask ourselves as passengers are we courteous enough and what solutions and measures can we put into place so we make the environment conducive for everyone.”
Nairobi News contacted Kasarani OCPD Robinson Mboloi who confirmed that they arrested Boniface.
The matter was resolved amicably and he was released.