Online traders request  govt to lift curfew for boda bodas

Boda bodas are supposed to stop operations at 7pm. PHOTO / FILE

What you need to know:

During his last address on December 31 last year on reopening of the economy, President Museveni ended the lockdown, but maintained that curfew time for boda bodas is 7pm.

  • He, however, delayed the opening of the bars and concerts for two weeks after the opening of schools.

Online traders under their umbrella of e-Trade Association have asked government to lift the boda boda curfew, saying the economy cannot recover when some essential workers are left out.

During his last address on December 31 last year on reopening of the economy, President Museveni ended the lockdown, but maintained that curfew time for boda bodas is 7pm.
He, however, delayed the opening of the bars and concerts for two weeks after the opening of schools.

Speaking to journalists in Kampala yesterday, the Kampala Capital City Traders’ Association (Kacita) spokesperson, Mr Isa Sekitto, said they want affordable transportation mobility for all Ugandans.

“How will the majority of Ugandans who rely on boda bodas get home at 9pm after work? [How will] factory workers who work night shift get home? The answer to such questions is clear that boda boda transportation provides a safer, efficient and affordable service countrywide,” he said.

Benefits
“Motorcycles enable millions of people to have the chance to participate in the economy everyday through getting to the market, delivering supplies, getting home after work and many more which are now affected,”  Mr Sekitto added.
The Kacita spokesperson said if the curfew time is not revised, it will be unsafe for Ugandans, especially women, the elderly and disabled if they walk back home.

Mr Ricky Rapa Thomson, the co-founder and director of Safeboda, an online boda boda service, said the industry is the second largest employer in Uganda after agriculture.
He added that it provides livelihoods for nearly seven million citizens, who would otherwise be engaged in illegal and illicit activities if they remain locked out.

“It is also largely considered one of the cheapest and most effective modes of transport that facilitates business engagement and research indicates that the boda boda industry has revolutionalised the economy through bridging the gap of unemployment, especially the youth,”  he said.

Mr Thomson added that keeping the industry under restricted movement when the economy has finally opened up after two years is a disservice to the business community that heavily relies on it as a primary facilitator in regards to the movement of goods.

Proposal
“The government should, therefore, reconsider its directives and instead emphasise the good practices on motorcycle operations in addition to the establishment of a well-updated database on commercial activities for their sustainability and a regulated legal framework to the aspirations,” he said.

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