Uber drivers are set to enjoy relief after the Kenya High Court Justice Francis Tuiyott paved the way for a suit against the company.
The story dates back to 2016 when 34 plaintiffs against Uber Kenya Limited over violating an online contract signed by drivers in Kenya.
According to the court documents, the contract required drivers to transport customers at a minimum of $0.54 per kilometre, with a minimum fare of $2.71. As per the agreement, Uber Kenya Limited would be retaining a 25% cut of overall profits from each ride.
However, the ride-hailing firm went ahead to reduce the minimum rate per kilometre to $0.32 and the minimum fare to $1.81 per trip in July of the same year. This, according to the plaintiffs, was an action that breached the contract that left cab drivers unable to earn profits while also maintaining their vehicles.
To counter the accusations, Uber Kenya Ltd. claimed that the drivers had not entered into contracts with them but with Uber BV. This is a private LLC registered in Amsterdam that acts as a subsidiary for contracting drivers in Kenya.
Unfortunately for the firm, the High Court of Kenya concluded that there was an intricate link between both companies. After enough evidence was presented by the plaintiffs, Justice Tuiyott lifted the “corporate veil” off of the conglomerate, making Uber Kenya and Uber BV liable to the plaintiffs.
This ruling from the High Court ends conflicting business domain names that have made it hard to sue Uber group of companies for the last few years. And it is definitely a breakthrough for drivers in Kenya who have long complained about the company’s pricing that favours customers but ends up putting them at a loss.