20 March 2019

Kenya: Taskforce to Streamline Boda Boda Sector Formed

The government has formed a 13-member taskforce to streamline operations of the boda boda sector.

The committee will be chaired by Julius Mathenge and David Oleshege as his deputy. Also in the team are Martin Eshiwani, Njeri Waithaka, Nick Korir, Lucy Karume, Lydia Mambo, Michael Kimani, Kevin Mubadi, Kennedy Odhiambo Okong'o, Joseph Agingu, Thomas Ogutu and Tom Macharia.

According to a gazette notice dated March 15, 2019 by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i and his Transport counterpart James Macharia, the taskforce will come up with regulations on when and where the motorcycles will operate from and the fares charged.

Last year, CS Matiang'i said that there are 700,000 motor cycles and the number could rise to one million by the year 2020.

REFORMS

In addition, the committee will examine the existing policy, institutional legislative and administrative systems governing public motorcycle subsector.

It will also develop an implementation matrix that clearly states the immediate, medium, and long term reforms governing the public service motorcycle sector.

It will compile data regarding the safety, reliability, cost and other matters of interest to consumers of public service motorcycle services.

"The taskforce will evaluate the market environment for operation of public service motorcycle business, including its challenges. It will also undertake any other activities required for the effective discharge of its mandate," read the notice in part.

90 DAYS

All these shall be carried out by the taskforce in consultation with other government agencies and the boda boda operators in order to come up with recommendations aimed at making reforms to the sector.

The taskforce is expected to serve for a period of 90 days after inception. The boda boda sector has been on the spotlight over claims that some of the riders have been linked to crime.

CS Matiang'i had warned the operators of dire consequences, should they not adhere to the traffic rules.

CRIME

"Some have been abetting criminal activities and distributing drugs at night. They have decided to be law unto themselves. It has become a monster that if we don't act, we will lose our society," Dr Matiang'i said during a road safety measures implementation meeting at the Kenya School of Government in December, last year.

He observed that many people had become victims of motorbike accidents, prompting hospitals across the country to set up special wards to treat accident victims.

"They have become unruly. They operate like mafia, when there is an accident involving one of them, they all come and burn the vehicle without seeking to know how it all happened," the Interior CS added.

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