Many Ugandans think boda bodas are a necessary evil that must be called to order through an appropriate regulatory framework.
Even some of the ethical cyclists subscribe to this thinking particularly in the Kampala metropolitan area. All agree that as much as omnibuses and buses cause accidents and death plus other attendant mayhem, by far it is the boda bodas responsible, courtesy of impunity.
And when Afande Andrew Felix Kaweesi was gunned down by people on motorcycles, typically, the reactive modus operandi reached fever pitch: laymen wailed or shouted themselves hoarse as big shots for the umpteenth time vowed to do something.
The president reacted by the "stop and sort issues with anonymous motorcycle riders trailing you" stop gap. Then, after the eloquent eulogies, it was business as usual.
Funny, aah? Well, many of us really get inclined to believe that Kampala Capital City Authority, traffic police, Mulago hospital (overwhelming accident victims in casualty ward), Uganda Revenue Authority, Transport Licensing Board, Uganda Communications Commission and Internal Security Organisation, etc, love to react than pro-act.
Perhaps the system works better for them that way. And I know it's hard to contemplate that this is the whole truth. Incidentally, I have had the privilege of working as an assistant to a deeply concerned Ugandan on a project to employ accessible information and communication technologies countrywide to create an easy monitoring platform for passenger service vehicles dubbed "Saferoad".
Working on this project, we have shuttled from one office to another: from KCCA's Jennifer Musisi to police's one Afande Kibwika; from UCC's Eng Godfrey Mutabazi to Mulago's executive director; from the Kampala resident city commissioner to Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, but all these officials seemed not to give a damn.
After the initial excitement of getting familiar with the innovation, they develop cold feet and the story ends there. The platform itself is a simple innovation that would automate particulars of any driver or rider on the road so much so that anonymity of drivers/riders is minimized and censorship of their compliance ensured.
After such frustrating stints, why would I believe that a regulatory mechanism is in offing? Why?
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