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{UAH} Ban boda bodas from the city

Many of us were shocked by the tragic murder of the late Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

His was the 12th high-profile murder in the last five years where the culprits use motor cycles. In the case of Kaweesi's murder, the sight of boda bodas has become so common that it did not seem unusual for a boda boda rider to be seen repairing his bike right outside Kaweesi's home.

Even if the assassins used a sports bike, it was still very easy for the killers to blend in with the regular boda boda operators. Uganda's boda boda industry is the biggest security risk, in Kampala, and it has a long history with crime.

When boda bodas first began to spring up in the early 2000s, riders were associated with smuggling goods across the Busia border. It is said that every day, someone joins the boda boda industry. A boda boda rider can set up a stage anytime, anywhere. Boda bodas ride near people's cars, end up scratching the car paint, and speed off.

I usually see boda bodas transport three schoolchildren on a single bike!

They are used as getaway means in robberies. Many people have died or ended up being amputated as a result of their recklessness. The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) 2014 annual report states: "According to the ICCU, Mulago Hospital alone received five to 20 boda boda accident cases every day, which translated into 7,280 cases a year."

In June, 2015, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) began erecting red and white 'no-entry-for-boda-boda' signposts around the city centre.

However, the boda boda riders that are used to acting with impunity tore down many of these signposts! At the time, KCCA intended to make Kampala's central business district a no-go area for boda bodas.

To remove the security risk they pose, boda bodas should be banned from Kampala and operate only on the city outskirts.  For example, in Dar es Salaam, boda bodas are not allowed to operate in the city centre; they work in the city outskirts.

Only owners of personal motorcycles are permitted to ride in Dar es Salaam.

Josepha Jabo,
Uganda Media Centre.


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