Bolt responds to safety concerns after abduction of Ciku Muiruri's daughter, friend

Bolt has come under criticism from various users of late. [Image/Courtesy]

Bolt has condemned violent and aggressive acts after a suspect in the abduction of media personality Ciku Muiruri's daughter and her friend was linked to the taxi-hailing app.

In a statement on Tuesday, June 13, Bolt reiterated that the safety of its customers and users was its top priority.

"At Bolt, we take the safety and well-being of our passengers very seriously and we strictly condemn any acts of violence or aggression," the company said.

Responding to the incident, Bolt said it had played its part and assisted authorities to complete investigations into the abduction.

"We are aware of the recent safety incident and deeply appreciate the local authorities' efforts to ensure that the two young girls were found and safely reunited with their families. We proactively collaborated with the authorities to provide pertinent information regarding this case that supported the conclusion of this investigation."

The company further announced upgrading its security and safety features, aimed at improving the safety and well-being of passengers and drivers using the app.

Among them is introducing a driver selfie check feature on the Bolt application to enhance safety and prevent driver impersonation and account sharing.

"We show riders the driver and car verification details when they request a ride. Riders are encouraged to confirm that the driver and car registration details during the pickup match those on the app," the statement released on Tuesday, June 13 read in part.

Drivers and riders can also use the SOS emergency button to alert, and seek security, and first-response medical assistance at any time during an active trip.

Erica Gachoka, 26, and her friend Shanice Agose, 27, were reported missing for a week after their abduction in Nairobi's Westlands area as they took a taxi home. The duo was rescued from a house in Mangu, Waiteithie area in Thika.

Their abductors demanded a ransom of Sh500,000- Sh250,000 for each of the women.

"The officers raided a house in Ngoigwa area in Thika, where two suspects Timothy Kiragu, 34, and Samuel Kipkurui, 33 were arrested. After a brief interview, the duo led detectives to Gatukuyu in Mang'u, Kiambu County, where the two women were rescued," said the DCI.

The incident has elicited mixed reactions online, with netizens sharing harrowing and hilarious experiences while using Bolt.

Twitter user Mike Thuo narrated how a Bolt motorcycle rider vanished with his shopping one time, from Thika Road Mall to Mirema Drive in Nairobi where he resides.

"I got my character development from these online apps. My Bolt rider just disappeared with the shopping I had sent him to deliver. His number has since gone off but the case was reported to police," Thuo wrote.

The ride-hailing service has also experienced safety concerns in recent years.