The opposition in Parliament has questioned the move by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to register all boda boda in Kampala city, accusing security agencies of hijacking the process.
The minister in-charge of Kampala, Minsa Kabanda early this year issued a directive that prohibits unregistered boda boda riders from accessing Kampala Metropolitan area.
She directed that there be a reduction of the number of boda boda cyclists to only 7000 from the more than 200,000 motorcycles that operate and do business in Kampala at specified stages and within the Metropolitan area.
The intention of the move was to weed out wrong elements from the industry.
But the shadow minister for Kampala Metropolitan Affairs, also Rubaga North MP, Abubaker Kawalya accused the city authority of orchestrating a dubious plan to deploy security operatives masked as hawkers in downtown Kampala.
“It is very rare to find a boda stage where there are no two, three security operatives. Are we turning this city into a military city? We are not going to allow this impunity. We call upon any Ugandans, most of the boda boda cyclists who are going to be affected to be very vigilant. We are planning to move a motion on the floor of Parliament but we have to fight for our rights,” he said.
Kawalya questioned the criteria that was used by the city authority to curb boda boda riders to 7000, adding these cyclists are being deprived of the chance to survive in this hard economy.
“Most of our people are going to lose jobs because we know that these boda boda in Kampala, some of them sold their land from where they come from, knowing that that is where they are going to earn a living but again if you evict them without providing alternatives on how they are going to survive, it leaves a lot of questions to some of us,” he said.
Boda boda riders around the city have been alleging harassment over the mandatory registration of their bikes.
In February, Kabanda directed all boda riders operating within the city to register with the government by March 1.
This was in a bid to reduce the number of riders operating within the city. However, the registration deadline was not met and the exercise just resumed on July 1.