Boda Boda riders in Kampala City have opposed the plan by the government to reduce the number of stages in the Central Business District- CBD.
Last week, the State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Kabuye Kyofatogabye emphasized that there shall be only 32 stages in the Central Business District of Kampala with at most 50 riders per stage. The Minister says the guidelines are non-negotiable except when riders come with an amendment but not to eliminate any.
But Siraje Mutyaba the Chairman of Boda Boda Industry Uganda and former chairman Century Boda Boda riders described the move as unfair and unrealistic.
Mutyaba says a number of Boda Boda stages in Kampala were gazetted during the reign of Mayor Ssebana Kizito. He says they held a meeting with the government officials and agreed that they shall plan together on the location of stages and make adjustments to those in places like junctions.
He wants the government to come up with a plan that is agreeable to the different stakeholders in the Boda Boda Industry.
Mutyaba says the CBD being the busiest area in the city, activities of Boda-Boda are essential. He wants the government to use dialogue rather than force in dealing with issues concerning Boda Boda riders.
Siraje Isabirye, another rider says the move is wrong because the government lacks a relocation plan for the thousands of riders in the city. Isabirye, who works in Makindye Division is concerned that displacing stages from the city will lead to an influx of riders in the other city divisions.
Isabirye says riders who will lose the stages should be compensated.
Sula Kiwi Lubega, a Boda-Boda rider, and leader in Makindye Division says government makes unfair directives without consulting the stakeholders. He adds that it is ironical that the government has failed to provide other quick forms of transport in the City and yet is moving to limit the activities of Boda Boda cyclists in the city.
According to the government, the move is seen as a wider plan to operationalize the Boda Boda free zone, an area in which no passenger motorcycles shall be allowed.
The boda boda free zone is supposed to run along the boundaries of Wampewo roundabout-Jinja road to Kitgum house junction – Access road – Mukwano road to Clock Tower – Kafumbe Mukasa road – Kisenyi road – Mackay road – Kyaggwe road – Watoto Church – Bombo road – Wandegeya – Hajji Musa Kasule road – Mulago roundabout – Kamwokya junction – Sturrock road – Prince Charles Drive – Lugogo Bypass.
Kiwi accuses Kabuye of ignoring the concerns of the Boda Boda community.
The City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago says the Minister took advantage of the absence of KCCA Councilors who had been arrested on allegations of inciting violence.
Lukwago who secured bail for some of the councilors on Monday said that they do not support the move and shall meet to deliberate on the matter.
This is not the first time KCCA is making plans to organize the Boda Boda industry. In 2013, there was a move to register riders but it failed following opposition from some political leaders and Boda Boda groups.
In 2020, a similar plan was announced but didn’t kick-off and the government postponed the arrangement. Now, the government has re-awakened the plan.
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