Ride-hailing App Bolt is on the receiving end after two young women were kidnapped by their riders at least a week ago.
Erica Gachoka, the daughter of media personality Ciku Muiruri, and her friend Shanice Agose were taken hostage by Timothy Kiragu Ng’ang’a (34) and Samuel Kipkurui (33) along Rhapta Road, Westlands.
The suspects are said to have picked up the victims in Westlands after they requested a taxi through the Bolt App. They were headed to Kilimani.
“But when the ride arrived along Rhapta road in Westlands and they got in, the driver threatened them using a hammer before speeding off towards Thika,” said DCI.
2 KIDNAPPED VICTIMS RESCUED, 2 SUSPECTS ARRESTED
Two women who were abducted a week ago were rescued yesterday, following an operation conducted by a joint team of sleuths drawn from the Crime Research & Intelligence Bureau and the Operations branch.
Erica Gachoka, 26… pic.twitter.com/9ym2C6bpUB
— DCI KENYA (@DCI_Kenya) June 12, 2023
Erica and Shanice were rescued on Sunday by detectives in a one-room house in Mang’u, Gatundu North Constituency.
They were pretty “shaken and weak”, the police said.
On Tuesday, however, Bolt took to social media to inform the public that they assisted the police with investigations.
Bolt also took the time to remind its clients of the safety measures available in the app and also asked users to avoid using taxis whose car registration details do not match those provided in the app.
“At Bolt we take the safety and well-being of our passengers very seriously and we strictly condemn any acts of violence or aggression,” said Bolt.
At Bolt we take the safety and well-being of our passengers very seriously and we strictly condemn any acts of violence or aggression. pic.twitter.com/CnGF8TGxpY
— Bolt Kenya (@Boltapp_ke) June 13, 2023
In the comment section, Kenyans on Twitter (KoT) highlighted incidences of theft and violence involving Bolt riders.
Here are some of the comments:
A bolt driver cancelled my ride immediately I entered the car without my knowledge and doubled the fare when I got home.
Upon protesting, he locked the doors and started speeding back to Thika Road; threatening to kill me if I didn't pay up.
That was at midnight.
I had to…
— Njoroge The Marketer (@njorogetm) June 13, 2023
My people have been robbed their phones when they went to pick clients using bolt on request, this has never been handled fully, we have the OB numbers for the same
— Calvince Okumu (@calvince_okumu) June 13, 2023
I reported nearly being beaten up by a driver and never got a response
— Doreen (@dauhreen) June 13, 2023
A very big lie …….I used bolt last time 2 years ago …..I encountered a drunk driver whose vehicle ran out of fuel at 3:00am around Utalii…I ran for my dear life to a nearby petrol station requested another bolt and got home ….later I was reported as an unruly passenger
— George Wa Jua Kali (@ggmartins07) June 13, 2023
Last time on a bolt the driver wanted me to pay more than the agreed amount and addition to that wanted to pick his pals and have them joyride on my trip, on refusal I was insulted and he never reached my destination he dropped me off on the road, I reported but nothing was done
— brian micheni (@BMicheni) June 13, 2023
Others have encouraged those still using the ride hailing app to get rid of it and switch to other safer apps.
Don’t use Bolt because you wanna save 100/200 bob, there are way too many complaints about that app and they don’t get addressed.. if you decide to use it, you are part of the problem
— Aleckie Ronald (@SirAlexas) June 13, 2023
Why do you still have the Bolt App on your phone??????
— JILL 😊 (@JILLKUI) June 13, 2023
Delete @boltapp .
Additionally, shame any influencer, especially on Instagram and other platforms, still promoting the app because they're going to go on the social media offensive, as usual. Make it costly to their brand for them to promote Bolt. https://t.co/QAlxwxgIyC
— MT (@MarigaThoithi) June 12, 2023