Lukwago seeks to stop boda boda registration

Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago . PHOTO/FILE 

What you need to know:

  • The lord mayor accuses the minister of  issuing the directive illegally.

Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has gone to the High Court in Kampala seeking provisional orders to stop ongoing registration of boda boda riders.

The State minister in-charge of Kampala, Mr Kyofatogabye Kabuye, and the Resident City Commissioner, Mr Anderson Burora, recently issued a directive that will prohibit unregistered boda boda riders from accessing Kampala Metropolitan area.

Last week, Mr Burora, who represented Mr Kabuye during a meeting with different stakeholders, said all boda boda riders in Kampala who will not register at their respective stages would face it rough when the order is implemented.  

Speaking to the media in Kampala yesterday, Mr Lukwago said the decision is illegal.
“The directive of the Minister for Kampala together with the RCC to reduce the number of boda boda cyclists to only 7,000 out of more than 200,000 riders starting with those who are not registered, but do business in Kampala  at specified boda boda stages is illegal and unfair to Ugandans,” he said.

Mr Lukwago said they want court to order an injunction prohibiting and stopping any of their servants or agents from implementing such directives in the city. 

The lord mayor is also seeking a court injunction to stop prohibiting of street vending and hawking within the Metropolitan area.

“Court should look into the brutal and violent eviction of all the street vendors, kiosk operators and hawkers by the police, UPDF soldiers, KCCA enforcement officers and unidentified stick wielding persons calling themselves  smart city operatives, which is illegal,’’ he said.

Mr Lukwago said the minister together with his agents usurped the powers of the executive to issue the directive. He said the establishment of the body of KCCA enforcement force and smart city operatives without an enabling law is illegal and should be prohibited.

“Instead of making baseless directives, we want the court to direct the 3rd respondent to process licenses and issue them out to street vendors and hawkers to operate in some specific streets, open places, and evening markets,’’ he said.

But Mr Burora told Monitor that the lord mayor is abusing his office.

“The lord mayor cannot be the one in the capital city   and start to advocate for illegality, disorder and criminals, he is not up to date with his mandate,’’ he said.  Mr Barora said taking the matter to court is just a diversion.

Registration hurdles

Boda boda riders around the city are alleging harassment over the mandatory registration of their bikes.

In February, Mr Kabuye Kyofatogabye, directed all boda riders operating within the city centre up to have registered with government by March 1. This was in a bid to reduce the number of riders operating within the city from the current 35,000 to only 4,000.

However, the registration deadline was not met and the exercise just resumed on July 1.    

Last week, during a press conference organised by National Economic Empowerment Dialogue, Mr Fred Semakula, a boda boda rider, who has operated in the city for the last five years, poked holes in the effectiveness of the ongoing registration exercise.

“When you go to the place where we were directed to go to register, they give you a form to fill and you pay Shs75,000 and that is it. There is no doctor to check your eyes or a doctor to determine your mental state [as indicated on the form],” he said. 

Mr Baker Senyonjo, another boda rider, claimed the enforcement officers are now using the registration drive to extort money from them.

“Most officers will grab you even by 8am, impound your bike without a valid reason and won’t let you go until you have given them at least Shs50,000,” Mr Semakula lamented.