14 June 2019

Kenya: Insurance Requirement Counterproductive to Boda Boda Sector, MPs Warn

Nairobi — A section of parliamentarians have expressed opposition to the proposal the National Treasury to have boda boda operators obtain insurance covers for their passengers.

The proposal was tabled before the National Assembly on Wednesday when Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich presented the 2019/20 budget.

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said the move may end up killing the sub-sector that has for many years provided employment to youths.

"It is also good to look at these boda boda riders and owners who are doing a lot by creating employment to the youths. In my opinion the government should find a way in which it can support this insurance but not add another burden to these people," said Nyoro.

Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe and his Gatundu South counterpart Moses Kuria argued that the boda boda riders are not financially stable and the move could have a negative impact on their profits.

The two cautioned that locking out boda boda riders as a result of the new policy directive could lead to an upsurge in crime due to joblessness.

"These people do not earn much and most of them are people who are reforming from engaging in criminal activities and we are supporting them so the government should refrain from taxing them more and asking about passenger's insurance from them," said Mawathe.

His sentiments were echoed by Kuria who said the matter should be discussed by National Assembly Transport Committee.

Kuria pointed out that those who will not be able to procure the insurance may leave the sector and get involved in criminal activities.

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