What you need to know:
- Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said registering boda bodas helps in reducing boda boda-related crimes such as robberies.
A total 108,000 boda bodas in Kampala are not registered, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has revealed.
The revelation was made during an event to distribute reflector jackets to boda bodas yesterday.
The event was organised by KCCA in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
According to KCCA, there are 150,000 boda bodas in Kampala but only 42,000 are registered.
Ms Dorothy Kisaka, the executive director of KCCA, said: “…we are hoping that even the others will come on board and register”.
She added that the boda boda industry is key in easing mobility in Kampala and helping in community sensitisation on various things.
“The fate of unregistered boda boda riders is that they need to get into the registration. …We want the boda boda industry to be organised,” she said.
Ms Kisaka said the registration of bodas bodas is one of the measures they are taking to curb crime in Kampala as some of the crimes are committed by people on boda bodas.
When contacted for a comment on the low number of boda bodas registered, the Kampala City Lord Mayor, Mr Erias Lukwago, said: “It tells you that the entire registration exercise was a farce in the sense that it was not well planned. It wasn’t intended to streamline the boda boda industry and it was handled by people who were not trusted by the boda boda industry.”
Mr Lukwago said there was no regulatory framework to handle the boda boda registration exercise.
“Sanctions have to be imposed by the law. Since there is no law that makes registration mandatory, it was more less like a voluntary exercise. One was at liberty to register or not to register,” Mr Lukwago said.
He added that in order to organise the boda boda industry, they have to be systematic in handling the boda bodas and the gambling must stop.
“This is a very complex matter which requires a comprehensive policy, and the involvement of different stakeholders. It requires one to adopt a holistic approach. It is a massive project which shouldn’t be handled by a handful of individuals in Kampala who represent the government. We must drive the exercise of regulating boda bodas together,” Mr Lukwago said.
Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said registering boda bodas helps in reducing boda boda-related crimes such as robberies.
“Registration helps protect boda boda riders themselves because we have had crimes committed against them, it aids in the safety of their motorcycles, so if they are registered boda bodas it becomes easier to look through the database and see where such motorcycles are in case they are stolen,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
A total of 5,000 reflector jackets were given out yesterday with each division in Kampala expected to receive 1,000 jackets.
“The reflector jackets that we have given away today (yesterday) will be essential in easing identification to reduce the risk of motor accidents. On average, Kampala Metropolitan Area registers 10 to 20 boda boda accidents daily. That is a very high number and one of the interventions to prevent this is to increase visibility on the busy roads,” Ms Kisaka said.
She added that they plan to have different coloured reflector jackets for each division.
Ms Kisaka said the jackets will also be used to disseminate different messages.
On the issue of the electric motorcycles, Ms Kisaka said: “There is a move [to shift] from fuel-driven motorbikes to electric bikes plus the investors were all announced by President Museveni. This month, investors will be coming into the city.”
She added: “The move is definite, there will be an exchange [of motorcycles] for the electric ones. It is to do with the environment, air cleanliness. It is a global move. That is where we are going as a city and the government is fully supporting us on this,” she said.
She further said: “There is an arrangement regarding the prices. I am not in a position to speak about the details now but I know there is going to be a subsidy for the registered motorbike riders so that they don’t have to incur the whole price. That is why boda bodas should register.”
In August 2022, KCCA announced a boda boda census where all motorcyclists in the central business district were to be registered.
The exercise, according to KCCA, was to help them know how many boda bodas are in the city so as to ensure proper planning and to streamline the transport system.