Under their umbrella of Smart Online Divers Association (SODA), local taxi drivers working with online taxi franchises Uber and Taxify have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga –complaining of exploitation by the global transport service franchises as well as working under poor conditions.
The drivers, accompanied by Workers MPs Margaret Rwabushaija and Agnes Kunihira, presented their petition to the Speaker at Parliament on Monday.
The drivers argue that online taxi companies like Uber and Taxify in Uganda exploit the drivers working with them by deducting a 25 per cent commission, despite the drivers charging very low rates for their clientele.
The drivers say they have failed to meet with the local management of the networks which entered Uganda in 2015, who declined to deal with associations or groups but individual drivers,
Musa Kabunga, the Chairperson of the Association, says that some of their drivers have been deactivated without notice, which has affected the individuals dealing in the business.
“Across the world, Uber and Taxify have been criticized for their unfair treatment of driver in terms of pricing. These complaints have occurred in the US, UK and Kenya where drivers went on strike resulting in the government harmonizing the fares.”
“SODA has made attempts to seek audience with the partners in vain. These partners say that they do not deal with associations or groups of people, but rather only with individuals,” added Kabunga.
Hon. Kadaga acknowledged the impact of technology which had changed the way business is done in the country and the word.
“Technology is here and the world has gone digital, so we must find a way of harmonizing what constitutes a contract once you enter into business with those applications,” she said.