Bolt Kenya has been instructed to pay a sum of 1,000,008,000 Kenyan shillings ($662,743) to driver Kennedy Wainaina Mbugua by November 3, following a ruling by the Transport Licensing Appeals Board. The driver had filed a complaint against Bolt Kenya, accusing the e-hailing company of violating his data privacy, harassing him, and failing to comply with transportation network regulations.
The judgment stipulates that Bolt must compensate Mr. Wainaina for the 168 days he was unable to work due to the disabling of his account at a rate of 6,000 Kenyan shillings per day. Bolt is also required to reinstate Mr. Wainaina’s account, refund the funds held in his account at the time of deactivation, and provide evidence of compliance with the order to establish an office in Kenya.
Notably, Bolt Kenya had recently renewed its license after a negotiation in which the company agreed to cancel its 5% booking fee for passengers.
The Background of Kennedy Wainaina’s Case Against Bolt Kenya
Kennedy Wainaina’s complaint stemmed from a breach of his data privacy on Bolt’s platform, which exposed him to potential fraud. When he raised his concerns, Bolt disabled his account and withheld his funds, leaving him without income for 168 days. Mr. Wainaina also accused Bolt of not operating a physical office in compliance with transportation regulations.
The Transport Licensing Appeals Board found that Bolt failed to respond adequately to the allegations and acted capriciously by deactivating the driver’s account without following proper procedures. Furthermore, the board ruled that Bolt’s African Headquarters did not qualify as a physical office in Kenya, and the company was in violation of regulations. The board warned that failure to comply with the orders could result in the suspension of Bolt Kenya’s transport network license.
Bolt Kenya has been given a deadline of November 3 to comply with the board’s orders, failing which its license may be suspended.