What you need to know:
- The issue: Boda boda riders
- Our view: We call upon the relevant stake-holders such as the police, Kampala Capital City Authority, the Resident City Council and other leaders to rein-in on the boda bodas before the situation gets out of hand.
Early this week, a saddening video clip made rounds on different social media platforms showing how rowdy boda boda riders lynched Aziz Bashir, a former driver with the United Nations (UN), and destroyed his vehicle.
The ugly incident occurred after Bashir was involved in a minor accident with an unidentified boda boda rider.
It is reported that upon being knocked, Bashir got out of his car to demand compensation from the rider but the duo did not reach a consensus. As the rider left the scene, Bashir reportedly attempted to pursue him and in the process he knocked other motorcyclists. This prompted other cyclists to gang up against when he attempted to jump out of his car to flee. He was stoned to death.
It should be noted that the actions of the boda boda riders showed lack of respect and regard for lives of people and exhibited an element of lawlessness that Uganda is slowly sliding into.
Lately, many people are taking the law into their own hands to deal with criminals and suspects despite the several measures that guide handling of criminals. Early this month, Daily Monitor reported that six people had been lynched in Luweero District in just one week.
The graphic video of the Bashir incident and the emotions it rises indicates that we are yet to face a bigger problem if the boda boda riders are not tamed.
Past experiences have shown that for accidents involving boda boda riders, their colleagues always ganged up against the motorists even when it’s the rider in the wrong.
With such rudimentary methods of resolving conflicts, many motorists risk losing their lives in minor accidents such as scratching of cars, which are common on Ugandan roads.
Unfortunately, the government suspended the enforcement of boda boda free zones in the city which could have helped reduce such incidents. Previous plans to rid the Central Business District of boda boda riders have always been frustrated by politicians.
However, it is high time we chose between “our good voters” and losing our lives. The spirit of vandalism exhibited by boda boda riders while dismantling Bashir’s vehicle without giving the victims a fair hearing should be condemned in the strong ways possible.
We call upon the relevant stake-holders such as the police, Kampala Capital City Authority, the Resident City Council and other leaders to rein in on the boda bodas before the situation gets out of hand. So far, it’s only the Inspector General of Police, Martins Okoth-Ochola, who has publicly condemned the actions of the errant riders and promised a serious crack down .