Day 1 Discussions: Digital Hailing Services Regulations

Dear Kivuva,

Well said. One of the towns that had really localized Digital hailing
is Nakuru. It appears the drivers have even formed an association.
What NTSA may need to do is broaden the scope of stakeplayers to
ensure they have the right experts at the table that is driving this
conversation. Whereas many of us are weighing in on the issue, our big
toes might not be hurting compared to the cab drivers. This article
[1] explains the challenges the drivers are facing.

Best regards

Barrack Otieno

On Monday, 10-02-2020 at 21:51 Mwendwa Kivuva via kictanet wrote:

Thank you Liz for these discussions.

My views are

1. The original idea of digital hailing apps was not to add new
licence classes and regulations in our statutes but was to share free
seats in personal cars. When driving along the city, I carry with me 4
empty seats. I take empty seats to Nairobi, and back. Next time while
on the road, check the number of cars passing by ferrying only the
driver – translating to more fuel used, more roads damaged, more
traffic hours, more spare parts used, etc. Sharing that empty utility
can save the country some good money, especially in foreign exchange
(everything in cars is imported). The process of private citizens
carrying other road users going in the same direction should be at
the centre of digital hailing. It should be encouraged and promoted,
Onboarding should be seamless, and cost-free, and private drivers
SHOULD be allowed to participate. After all, we know our public
transport system is broken and not as reliable. Public transport
should be one area that the government gets correctly. It is easy to
implement, and enforce. But we have refused. We want to thrive in

2. Foreign digital hailing apps should NOT be allowed to set-up shop
in Kenya. We should not open up industries to foreigners that can be
done perfectly by locals. You cannot have a digital hailing client,
working tirelessly 365 days a year, earning, paying for the hailing
service, and that capital goes to Dubai or California. You cannot have
a digital hailing service investor paying a percentage of his income
for the capital to fly abroad. Those are failed policies. Indeed,
some  Prevent capital flight for cottage industries. There is no
value that foreign taxi-hailing apps bring to this economy rather than
harvesting human capital.
Mwendwa Kivuva, Nairobi, Kenya

On Mon, 10 Feb 2020 at 12:08, Ali Hussein via kictanet wrote:

The thing that these proposed Regulation is overlooking is the
overarching need for a complete overhaul of our Public Transport
System. Any mass transit system in the world cannot be left to the
vagaries of the profit motive alone. This is where the rain started
beating us down. When we killed Kenya Bus Services and allowed the
matatu menace to run roughshod over us. 

These new proposed regulations continue to perpetuate silo thinking
not just in govt but in the private sector too. 

Time ya kuamka. Masaa ina enda..

Ali Hussein
+254 0713 601113 

Twitter: @AliHKassim

Skype: abu-jomo


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act
but a habit.”  ~ Aristotle

Sent from my iPad

On 10 Feb 2020, at 11:40 AM, Liz Orembo via kictanet wrote:

  Thank you Ali, Kieti and Bill.

@Ali Hussein [2]  Indeed, we should regulate to grow the sector, not
to kill it. From the public participation, it looks like vitu kwa
ground is confusion/chaotic. The digital hailing service operators
have not been engaging car owners and the government. 

These regulations have also capped commission. The operators are
supposed to charge commission to a cap of 15%. to protect the drivers
from the effects of competition between the companies. A question
though; how did the NTSA arrive at this percentage? Is it fair to cap
profits? What are the effects in the industry?

@kieti you raise very valid points. Taxing the vehicle owners and
drivers might not be timely. How about the multinationals? Because not
imposing tax on them also exposes local companies which are already
paying taxes to unfair competition.

@Bill Dian [3], ill through these questions to fellow listers.

1.What does the Kenyan law say on employees and independent
contractors,with the disruption of traditional employment models?

2 The new regulations require digital service operators to operate
under Kenya laws,does Labor Laws apply?drivers have in the past
complained of lack of representation when deactivated,lack of
consultations on price fixing e.t.c?

3.What effect does the regulations have on Data
protection,specifically data retention .For instance,the regulations
require operators to maintain personal data for period of 3 years,will
the operators be required to obtain authorization from Data
Commissioner,since they are Data controllers and data processors?

4.What effect does the new regulations have on the model of the gig
economy?Does it rip off the independence and flexibility characterised
by the gig economy?

On Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 11:26 AM John Kieti wrote:


From the apparent justifications for the regulations, I think some
issues are being conflated, unfortunately. I am thinking at least 3
issues exist and could be dealt with separately.

1. _Accidents and crime _- Might it help to broaden the regulations to
cover normal offline taxis. If anything digital taxi-hailing provides
increased possibility for passenger safety than normal taxis. It seems
pointless to provide a fix for what is not really broken.

2._ Owners / Drivers / Operator feuding on commercials_ –  These
ideally should be maintained as commercial leasing agreements (drivers
with owners) and marketing service agreements (Drivers with
operators). The employer-employee narrative misses the point on the
platform economy where actors should be considered autonomous and
responsive to the market forces.
3. _Tax evasion and revenue collection – _This seems to be the main
thrust of the regulations. To check on tax evasion by operators –
Uber, Bolt, etc is welcome and timely. Legal technicalities on tax
avoidance will remain. To squeeze out more taxes and fees from drivers
and vehicle owners is fair – not sure about timely – If it were me, I
would let the gig economy grow roots first, for a couple more years.

Kind regards
On Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 9:10 AM Liz Orembo via kictanet wrote:

Good morning listers,

Today we will talk about Digital Hailing Services Regulations and the
licensing of the Service Operators under part 1 of the

Looking at the document, it seems like the NTSA is trying to regulate
the industry following the recent incidents that have come up: eg
accidents, assisted crimes and digital taxi drivers woes. These
regulations will require any digital hailing services; Uber, Bolt, and
Swivl, to register in Kenya and operate under the Kenyan laws. They
will also obtain operating licences from the NTSA.

We would like to hear your views on this:

a. Are the regulations necessary? 

b. Is NTSA the right/best body to regulate Digital Hailing Transport

c. What are the likely impacts in the transport industry, Information
Society Sector and gig economy? etc

d. Should multinationals be subjected to different licensing

Here are some resources to guide our discussions.
1. Bolt, uber among taxi apps ordered to get licences or get off road.
2. Can California reign tech-gig platforms? A primer on the bold state
law that will try.

Over to you listers.

KICTANet Admin information

Related Posts

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.