Lukwago pushes for law to regulate boda business

Concerned. Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago addresses journalists at his City Hall office in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

Concern. Mr Lukwago expressed concern over government’s plan to hold elections for all boda boda (motorcycle taxis) cyclists in the city yet there is no law to guide such an exercise


Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago is mooting for a law to regulate boda-boda operations in the city.
Speaking to journalists at City Hall yesterday, Mr Lukwago expressed concern over government’s plan to hold elections for all boda boda (motorcycle taxis) riders in the city yet there is no law to guide such an exercise.

“We had initiated a process of passing this ordinance but minister Beti Kamya halted the process on grounds that the business has many factions which must be disbanded. However, we have decided to pass this ordinance so that it can reduce the controversy in the boda boda industry,” Lukwago said.

The ordinance provides for having a common body, management, term of office, gazetting stages, data banks, Taxation, areas of operation, and other general policies for boda-boda operators.
Mr Lukwago also sneered at President Museveni’s remarks that boda boda cyclists are perpetuators of growing crime in the city. Lukwago said the President is using the boda-boda claim to cover up his failure to ensure security in the city.

“When we lost AIGP Felix Kaweesi, ministers rushed to make outlandish statements that boda bodas are aiding the killing of people in the city. That’s why I have come up to have this ordinance passed so that these cyclists could be regulated and save them from such baseless accusations by government,” Mr Lukwago said.

According to Section 8(a) of the Kampala Capital City Authority Act, the KCCA shall have power to make ordinances not inconsistent with the Constitution or any other law made by Parliament.

On March 23, 2017 Lukwago wrote to the Minister for Kampala, Beti Kamya, telling her that regulation of transportation system lies under the Jurisdiction of KCCA.

“…I would, therefore, wish to impress it upon the central government that streamlining the boda boda industry would call for maximum restraint on the part of top security personnel against undue interference in the boda boda management. It would certainly be a gloss injustice for the state to use this worrisome spate of heinous murders to unleash unreasonable force on to the poor boda-boda cyclists,” Lukwago’s letter to Kamya states in part.

Efforts to speak to Kamya were futile as our calls to her phone went unanswered.

Ministry speaks
However, Mr Samuel Baker Emiku, the Undersecretary for Ministry of Kampala, said government has not yet made a plan to hold elections for boda boda cyclists. He said the government is currently working on elections of taxi operators.

“We are currently organising elections for taxi operators and we are engaging the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to guide us on this exercise. When we are done with this one, we shall then embark on regulating boda-bodas but this doesn’t mean that we are not following up on them,” he said.

Responding to President Museveni’s pledge to instal CCTV cameras in and around the city to curb crime following the murder of Andrew Felix Kaweesi, a former police spokesperson, Mr Emiku noted that the plan might hit a snag because the city’s physical plan is still wanting, which could affect such a scheme.