Government halts city boda  boda free zone plan

Boda boda riders on Jinja Road in Kampala in August 2020. Government has halted plans to demarcate boda boda free zones in Kampala City. PHOTO/FILE

Government has halted plans to demarcate boda boda free zones in Kampala City until a comprehensive transport plan is unveiled, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) spokesperson Daniel Nuwabiine revealed yesterday.

Mr Nuwabiine said whereas Cabinet in July 2020 approved the boda boda free zones in Kampala to restore order in the city, government realised there was need to engage all relevant stakeholders  in the transport sector.

“Engagements are ongoing. The major focus is on how we can achieve a sustainable transport system for the city without looking at only boda bodas but also other commercial vehicles in the city. We expect to have a comprehensive plan soon which will be unveiled to the public before its implementation starts,” he said in an interview with Daily Monitor on Sunday.

He added: “We have not abandoned the boda boda free zone corridor but it will only be implemented after we have come up with a comprehensive transport system for the entire city which is currently being worked on.” 

Mr Nuwabiine said government has now considered partnering with private companies to procure buses, saying they shuttle more passengers compared to boda bodas.

The chairperson of the Kampala Bodaboda Association, Mr Kiviri Kanyike, said: “One of the mistakes government does is to come up with some plans or policies for the transport sector without first engaging those who are directly involved in the transport business because we understand it more than any other person and we can actually give government information that they want regarding the boda boda industry.” 

The boda boda free zones would prohibit the riders from entering or accessing the city centre
According to the plan, the boda boda free zone will run along the following boundaries; Wampewo roundabout –Jinja Road to Kitgum House junction. Then Access Road –Mukwano Road to Clock Tower; Kafumbe Mukasa Road –Kisenyi Road –Mackay Road – Kyaggwee Road – Watoto Church –Bombo Road to Wandegeya. Then from Hajji Musa Kasule Road – Mulago roundabout –Kamwokya junction – Sturrock Road – Prince Drive – Lugogo Bypass –Jinja Road and Wampewo roundabout.

All boda boda cyclists must also operate at gazetted boda boda stages and these are supposed to have a unique reference code.
Boda boda digital companies which use Apps will also share the register of all their members with authorities.

However, boda bodas who do not operate or belong to digital companies (use of App) shall register with KCCA through their stage leadership. 

Mr Nuwabiine revealed that KCCA has since halted the registration exercise, pending a final resolution that will be made by stakeholders.

The number of boda bodas operating in the city remains unknown to date and the sector is largely unregulated and associated with crime.