A lady identified as Suzzy Cerra has come out to reveal that Bolt taxi company has reached out to her with a promise of giving her free rides to settle a case where the company's driver allegedly cut her hand after a disagreement over fare.
Suzzy has told K24 Digital that Bolt has asked her to pull down a social media post where she highlighted the ordeal in order to earn a promotional code, that translates to free rides.
"They asked me to pull down my post so that they can give me a promo code," Suzzy said.
Bolt has however refuted the allegation explaining that the matter is under investigation for appropriate action.
"The alleged victim of the assault, Suzzy Cerra has not been offered compensation by Bolt whether in the form of free rides or otherwise and was not contacted by any member of the Bolt team to pull down her post.
"The matter is currently under investigation with the National Police Service (NPS) and Bolt is closely collaborating with the NPS and all investigating agencies on this matter.
"At Bolt, the safety of all riders and drivers is our highest priority. Our standard practice calls on us to apply rigorous safety procedures and uphold the highest, safest standard practices and actions.
"Any security-related report is immediately flagged and attended to by a high priority response team, who are responsible for investigating the complaint and ensuring the right action is taken, and that the matter is attended to immediately. We also provide all the information and assistance required by law enforcement authorities to bring criminal charges against those who are found guilty of breaking the law.
"To further bolster driver and rider safety on Bolt, our driver and rider apps both have an SOS emergency button that can be used to alert and seek for security or medical assistance at any time during a Bolt trip. The SOS button is reserved for medical or security emergencies, where a driver, a passenger or another road user is in immediate danger during a Bolt trip. Our SOS system is equipped with policy guidelines to ensure compliance and to avoid the misuse of the SOS button," the taxi app said in a statement sent to K24 Digital.
The incident happened on Sunday, August 29 around 9:00 pm near Diamond Plaza in Nairobi, and according to Suzzy, fracas started when the taxi driver, identified as Samuel, demanded to charge them almost three times the value charged by the app.
Suzzy, who was in the company of her brother, claims the driver insisted on the amount and when she opted for cancelling the trip, he became bitter and assaulted her brother with a wooden throwing club (rungu).
She narrated that the driver further brandished a knife and aimed it at cutting the brother’s head forcing her to come to his aid by blocking the knife with her hand.
She says they both fell to the ground as a result of the fracas and it is at that point that the driver hacked her hand and drove off.
“The driver said he will only carry us if we pay Ksh780 yet the app was reading Ksh270.
“Nikakataa nikasema I will cancel and request another ndo akajam akatoka na rungu akagonga bro yangu then akatoa kisu. Akienda kukata bro yangu kwa kichwa nikamstop tukaanguka na yeye akanikata akatoroka (I refused to pay the extra fare and opted for cancelling the trip so that I can request another ride. That is when he became furious and assaulted by brother with a baton. He then brandished a knife and wanted to cut my brother’s head but I blocked it with my hand and we all fell to the ground. It is there that he hacked my hand and drove off),” Suzzy narrated.
According to images seen by K24 Digital, Suzzy’s wrist and fingers are visibly swollen with a white bandage covering her knuckle and palm.
In response to the hand-cutting allegations, Bolt Kenya had released a statement urging the victim to report the incident to Parklands Police Station so that justice can be pursued.
The cab company confirmed that Suzzy requested a trip, the same driver accepted and confirmed at 8:41 pm on the said date.
Bolt further defended their driver saying the rider requested for a ride only to appear with eight people against the required four.
"The driver explained to the rider that he cannot carry beyond the licensed capacity of four passengers. The rider didn't want to listen and her friends proceeded to physically attack the driver," Bolt stated.
Bolt added: "Bolt condemns any acts of violence against passengers or drivers and are resolute in our belief that drivers have their right to work and passengers have the right to travel, without having to fear for their safety."
The taxi firm has also downplayed claims that it has refused to take action and blamed the victim for refusing to cooperate.
“Bolt has reached out to the rider severally since August 30, 2021, to offer support and requested that she reports the incident to the police at Parklands Police Station and to share with us the case number. However, this is still pending and as at the same of this statement and the rider has since been uncooperative,” the statement read in part.