Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali has warned the Online Taxi Drivers Association to stop harassing drivers operating branded online taxis.
Mr Tayali has since called upon law enforcement agencies to arrest anyone harassing drivers operating brands online taxis.
He said his Ministry has been developing regulations that will guide operations of online taxis adding for now, branded online taxis must be allowed to operate without any disturbances.
Mr. Tayali was reacting to a statement inside by the Online Taxis Association of Zambia urging its members to shutdown the e-hailing App from Monday accusing online taxis of failing to address their concerns.
“Those that want to take the law in their own hands will be visited by the law. We are in the process of finalizing the S.I that will guide these operations, for now, no one should harass those working with e-hailing Apps,” he said.
But a survey in Lusaka on Tuesday has revealed that the planed shutdown had no effect on Yango operations as customers continued ordering the service as normal.
And Yango Zambia Country Manager Kabanda Chewe says the company is deeply concerned about an unruly crowd that vandalized the company’s hub in an effort to disrupt operations as well as cause disturbance to both service and the transport system of Lusaka as a whole.
Ms. Chewe said Yango emphasizes the importance of respecting legal procedures and resolving conflicts peacefully adding that advocate for dialogue and understanding within the industry, but will engage only in a civilized dialogue with relevant parties to address concerns as well as ensure driver safety.
She said Yango firmly opposes violence and harassment towards the drivers and is committed to fostering a safe and supportive environment for all drivers within the platform.
“We advocate for dialogue and understanding within our industry, but will engage only in a civilized dialogue with relevant parties to address concerns as well as ensure driver safety,” Ms. Chewe said.
“It has come to our attention as well that vigilante forces, likely the same ones responcible for the todays disturbance, have recently commenced driver harassment. We strongly condemn these unwarranted and forceful actions, which are not based on any legal grounds,” she emphasized.
“As an organisation, Yango firmly opposes violence and harassment towards the drivers of our partners. We are committed to fostering a safe and supportive environment for all drivers within our platform. The safety and wellbeing of our drivers have always been and will always be our top priority.”
She added, “We encourage the use of lawful channels to address concerns and urge all parties involved to resolve conflicts peacefully and within the framework of the law.”