Low turnout as boda boda training starts

Boda bodas in Kampala on March 29, 2022. PHOTO/STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

  • The trainers attribute the low turnout to low sensitisation of the riders by the responsible authorities.

The boda boda training exercise aimed at averting road crashes in Kampala started yesterday on a low note, with most riders not turning up at the different centres.

Monitor observed that all the training centres in the different divisions of Kampala received a handful of riders.

For instance at Nakasero Primary School, only eight riders attended the first day of training. At Kitante Primary School, only six turned up, while at Uganda Martyrs Primary School, only one was found. For Kikko grounds in Katwe, by only four riders had been trained by close of business, while at Ntinda School for the Deaf, only 13 boda boda riders turned up.

Currently, there are more than 60, 000 boda bodas operating in Kampala City, according to the city authority.
Mr Hussein Bugembe, an instructor from Harus Driving School at the Katwe training centre, attributed the low turnout to low sensitisation of the riders.

“Many are not sure of the motive of this training. Some think it’s political and others are still observing the situation until the last days. But we are optimistic that by the end of December, many will have adhered to the directives,” Mr Bugembe said.

KCCA urged

Mr Anthony Tamale, the director of Tamales Driving School, also called for massive sensitisation and mobilisation of the boda boda riders to embrace the exercise.

Mr Wilson Tamale, an inspector of Country View Driving School at the Nakasero Primary School training centre, urged KCCA to involve “the boda boda leadership in Kampala to have the riders turn up in big numbers for the training.”

Nevertheless, he said, they are determined to continue with the training.
“We expect a lot of improvement on Ugandan roads because this training is going to be a continuous process, countrywide,” Mr Tamale said.

“The increasing number of accidents involving motorcycles is due to lack of knowledge and skills in boda boda riding. After the training, we expect the cameras on the roads to follow those who have undergone the training to ensure that once caught in the wrong, a punishment is slapped on them,” he added.

The training is aimed at curbing road accidents in the Kampala Metropolitan area. According to police, at least four people die due to motorcycle-related accidents daily.

However, Mr Umar Isabirye, the chairperson of boda boda riders in Makindye Division, attributed the low turnout to the fee of Shs60,000 that every rider is supposed to pay to the designated nine training driving schools.

“KCCA did not give riders early warning to save money for the exercise. The riders need more time to look for the money for training,” Mr Isabirye said

Meanwhile, during a meeting with driving schools instructors in Mengo yesterday, boda boda leaders expressed concern over government failure to involve them in the training programme. They said they will not support the exercise until KCCA brings them on table.

What riders say

“Government sees boda boda as a profitable business, which is frustrating. You never know what will happen after training, they may now ask customers to also start buying reflectors jackets. “Let them also improve the roads in Kampala. If you train without any improvement on the infrastructure, nothing will change.” James Mutyaba, boda boda rider.

“Government is now looking for all ways to make money; when they see any Ugandan making money, they come for you. They started with reflector jackets, then PSV and now we are on training,” Moses Kibuli, rider
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