SWVL, the Egyptian mass transit ride hailing service has been in the country for a year now and that has not been easy. They have been caught in a kerfuffle with the regulator, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) several times before.
Well, there is more drama from the two institutions. Daily Nation reports that NTSA called for the prosecution of the firm’s co-founder and CEO, Mostafa Kandil.
Apparently NTSA wrote to the Inspector General of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute the firm’s managing director as well as compel the company to cease operations in the city.
“Traditionally an operator is licenced to operate at a particular route but SWVL wants to operate in a manner they can go anywhere,” NTSA’s licencing manager, Jackson Mutua told the Nairobi County Assembly Transport committee.
The regulator said that SWVL has been operating illegally in Nairobi. Apparently SWVL has not been licenced by them or City Hall to ply the routes it operates in.
SWVL plies several routes in Nairobi where people pre-book their commutes which are heavily discounted. They also started long distance trips where they are targeting another PSV market that is known to be dominated by a few players. They raised Kshs 1.5 billion for Kenya expansion so they are not going anywhere soon.
“The problem is that SWVL want to operate everywhere ignoring that the PSVs in Nairobi operate along routes that have been licenced. Once they get licenced they will have to follow the existing routes,” Country Roads and Transport Officer Engineer, Fredrick Karanja said. Mr Karanja also confirmed that SWVL had tried to apply for licencing from them.
The drama between SWVL and NTSA is due to the law. NTSA is trying to make SWVL comply to legacy laws. This is why NTSA drafted new regulations for digital hailing services since they were grappling to deal with these new age transportation mediums and it has interesting provisions. The drama between them will not be over soon it seems.