The planned crackdown on unregistered Boda boda operators in Kampala has failed to kick off. As the mandatory Boda boda registration closed on Friday last week, the Minister for Kampala, Hajati Minsa Kabanda warned that unregistered motorcycle taxis commonly known as Boda boda will not be allowed in the city starting Monday, September 19th, 2022.
However, the highly anticipated crackdown didn’t take place as expected. Now, the Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Spokesperson, Simon Kasyate, says the minister’s communication was taken out of context. He explained that they are currently sorting the data that will be followed by enforcement.
According to Kasyate, close to 50,000 Boda bodas registered during the two-week Boda census exercise.“Right now we have registered close to 50,000, and that’s the number we are going to plan for,” Kasyate. Up to 400, 000 Boda boda riders are estimated to operate in Kampala Metropolitan Areas.
There were mixed reactions among different Boda boda operators interviewed by URN. Edison Agaba, the Secretary for KBA Fenna Boda Boda Association Kawempe Limited, says that he expected running battles with the law enforcement officers in the morning but he was surprised by what he met.
According to Agaba, of the 60 riders on his stage, only 5 had registered by Friday last week. He blames KCCA and the line ministry for not involving the Boda Boda leadership in the exercise, which explains the low numbers.
Angelo Katongole, a Boda boda rider from Busega, says that he didnt register because he didn’t understand the entire process. According to Katongole, he also lacks a national identity card yet it is one of the key requirements for registration. “If they had started the enforcement today they would be unfair because some of us don’t have the primary requirements and all of them are gotten from the government,” he said.
A stage leader along Kimathi avenue in the city center, who preferred anonymity, said that he has followed all the calls for Boda boda registration and registered in the recently concluded exercise. Out of the 9 operators on his stage, only 4 were registered by the close of the census on Friday. Some of the riders say they have not yet received their registration coupons as the process requires. Joseph Ayimbisibwe, a rider from Namuwongo, says that KCCA would have improved on its processing speed because some of them would have been arrested even after registering.
Robert Mukole, who has not yet registered, says that entered the city expecting the worse but he was pleasantly surprised that the crackdown didn’t take place. This is the third attempt by KCCA to register Boda boda operators in an attempt to streamline their operations.
Despite this, the Kampala City Lord Mayor, Elias Lukwago insists that the ongoing processes are illegal due to the lack of supportive laws. He has since petitioned the court to denounce them as inconsistent and urged riders not to take part in the process.