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Boda boda riders protest brutal arrests

FILE PHOTO: Boda boda riders

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of the boda boda industry, Uganda have pleaded with parliament to intervene and stop the brutal police arrests.

They were appearing before the Physical infrastructure Committee of parliament to present their views on the Traffics and Road safety bill 2019 alongside members of Kampala Automobile Association Uganda, Kampala Tuk Tuk owners Association and United Bus drivers association.

Led by their Secretary-General, Francis Hafasha, the riders noted that arbitrary arrests by police have created fear among their members and triggered tensions.

They also argued that in most cases whenever they arrested, are they are never told the offense for, which they are being held.

Hafasha says several motorbikes get lost after being impounded and their owners have to spend huge sums of money to recover them.

The riders also want government to introduce specialized boda boda lane to ensure safety in terms of road use.

Among others the riders also want government to improve on the sorry state of the roads, install lights in several parts of the city and increase security cameras.

Jack Wamanga Wamai, the Mbale Municipality MP, says boda boda riders are reckless as they fail to obey traffic regulations, over speed and ride anyhow.

He says it is important for the riders to mind other road users and learn traffic regulations.

The Committee chairperson, Kafeero Ssekitoleko promised to look into the concerns of the boda boda riders and the issues they have raised in relation to the bill.

Police hasn’t commented on the concerns of the riders.

The traffic and road safety bill 2019, among other provisions, seeks to strengthen road transport regulation and road safety management in Uganda, address existing challenges such as new and emerging trends , increased number of road users including motor cycles, increased road accidents and  the need to conform to the regional and international agreements that Uganda is a signatory to.

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