18 June 2019

Uganda: Boda Boda Riders Petition Museveni Over New Law

Photo: Alex Esagala/Daily Monitor
Boda boda riders carry passengers on Jinja Road in Kampala.

City boda boda riders under their umbrella body, Kampala Metropolitan boda boada Joint Leadership Forum, have petitioned President Museveni over the new Kampala Boda boda Ordinance, 2019 Bill, which they say will block their work and possibly phase them out of the city.

In their two-page June 17 petition signed by their chairperson, Mr Frank Mawejje, the riders say the new law has been driven by politicians whose motive is to gain popularity and fulfil personal agendas from foreign companies, which are dealing in the same business.

They also alleged that the authorities did not engage them before drafting the law.

"Your Excellency (President Museveni), we have been complaining about the emergence of the [western world] companies that are engaging in the management of our boda boda sector with unknown intentions. They award riders with extra money that they have not worked for. We have encountered an article in this Bill that is aimed at forcing all the riders to fall into the trap, which riders cannot accept basing on the well-known history of the [West] towards the [local people]," reads the petition in part.

Calls to the Minister for Presidency, Ms Esther Mbayo, went unanswered although we later learnt that she was in a Cabinet meeting at State House Entebbe.

In the Bill that was drafted by Kampala City Council Authority, Ministry of Kampala affairs, Transport and Works Ministry and traffic police, the riders will, among other regulations, observe: "The authorities will determine the amount of money to be paid by customers, will gazette new stages for all riders, will have to seek permission from KCCA to access the city, will pay all taxes through Uganda Revenue Authority and all riders on different stages will be registered by KCCA and not the stage leaders as it has been."

2018 directive

In the wake of gruesome murders and city crimes done using motorcycles last year, President Museveni suggested that riders should not wear hoods and regulations be made on Boda bodas entering Kampala central business district.

The move was to regulate the number of boda bodas in the city and minimise on accidents.

The boda boda riders' association spokesperson, Mr Rashid Kawawa, yesterday said there association is made up of more than 17 groups, which are regulating about 200, 000 boda bodas in the city.

Mr Mawejje said they are opposed to all these regulations because they are baseless and ungrounded on their daily operations. "We cannot allow these things to happen. We shall not accept to lose our jobs....," he said.

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