The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) wants the Swvl boss prosecuted for running illegal operations in Nairobi.
NTSA accuses the Swvl boss Mostafa Kandil and his firm for operating in Nairobi city without a legally acquired license from either the agency or the County government despite being ordered to acquire one.
In a letter addressed to the Police Inspector General and the Director of Public Prosecutions, NTSA wants Swvl officials arrested and the firm’s operations in the capital halted with immediate effect.
According to NTSA, Swvl vehicles have been operating on routes designated for Public Service vehicles yet the firm is licensed to operate as Tour Service thus breaching the stipulated rules.
“Traditionally an operator is licensed to operate at a particular route but Swvl wants to operate in a manner that they can go anywhere,” wrote NTSA.
Swvl on its side said that it had applied for a license from the NTSA and city hall but it was denied since the firm was not willing to operate on the designated route.
“They tried to apply and as a county, we advised them that they have to follow the designated routes. They cannot operate how they want and the routes they had requested,” said County Roads and Transport Chief Officer Engineer Fredrick Karanja.
“The problem is that Swvl wants to operate everywhere ignoring that the PSVs in Nairobi operate along routes that they have been licensed. Once they get licensed, they will have to follow the existing routes,” Mr. Karanja added.
Mary Arivitsa, a nominated MCA suggests that Swvl should pay more tax if they want to extend their operations to other routes and if not, they should operate on the permitted routes just like the PSV vehicles and matatus.
“If they want to use more than one route then I suggest that the county charges them higher.”