Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 100 people mainly Boda Boda cyclists in West Nile sub region are in shock after failing to get motorcycles for which they made hefty deposits. Officials of Sky Motors Limited, the company they say they deposited money to get motorcycles, has vanished and officials switched off their phones.
Sky Motors Limited opened an office in Manibe ward, Ayivu Division in Arua city early last month, after allegedly getting clearance from the division authorities to offer motorcycle and tricycle loan services.
According to the company guidelines, each interested rider was expected to make an initial deposit of between sh680,000 and sh4,000,000 out of the required sh6.8 million to access a motorcycle and sh10 million for the tricycle. Potential clients were then expected to make either a weekly or monthly payment for a motorcycle or tricycle while those who can afford can also pay cash.
The company had promised to deliver motorcycles and tricycles for the applicants on Sunday afternoon during a “mega launch”. However, on Saturday, some of the affected clients who had come to clear their outstanding initial deposits ahead of the launch were shocked when they arrived at the company’s office and found no officials in office.
After waiting in vain for the officials to arrive, the affected clients rushed to the nearby Manibe Police station in shock to report the matter but were later referred to Arua central police station.
Stephen Droma , one of the affected boda boda riders says that he paid shillings 1.36 million for two motorcycles and the company promised to deliver his motorcycles during the launch which never materialized.
Meanwhile, Flavia Adiru, a single mother from Katrini sub county in Terego district who lost shillings 2 million wants the city authorities to intervene noting that many of the affected clients borrowed money from SACCOs to secure the motorcycles.
Elmahad Salim, the chairperson of Arua city Boda Boda Association, told URN that he has received a list of at least 80 of his members who made partial payments to Sky Motors Company Ltd. He however faults Ayivu division authorities for issuing a trading license to company without due diligence.
Alice Akello, the Arua Resident City commissioner says that the company officials had been moving on different radio stations in Arua City popularizing their business as genuine. Akello however cautioned the residents to be extra vigilant in dealing with companies whose registration status is not know .
This is not the first time residents in the sub region have been conned by fake motorcycle companies who purport to offer motorcycle loan. In 2019, hundreds of businessmen, teachers, and boda boda cyclists in West Nile and Acholi sub regions were fleeced by Easy Boda-Boda Company Ltd in yet another motorcycle loan scam.