Museveni wants boda boda riding licence cost reduced

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Museveni wants boda boda riding licence cost reduced
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President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has promised to intervene and find a solution to the boda boda driving licence's high cost.

“One of the challenges you are facing is driving licence charges which are at the same rate as that of a motor vehicle. I have never heard about it because you put a curtain on Kampala so you are always there with your opposition people so we don't get to know what is happening on that side. The Member of Parliament is supposed to raise such issues and Lukwago, what is their role? And it is you who voted for them. But that is going to change, we are going to change the fees. You said we should reduce the charges to at least Shs100,000. I'm going to work on that,” he assured.

The President made the remarks today as he passed out 372 boda boda leaders from Kampala City and Wakiso District after undergoing an eight-day patriotism training at the Oliver Reginald Tambo School of Leadership and Pan-African Centre of Excellence- Kaweweta, Nakaseke District.

President Museveni made the promise while responding to a query raised by the Chairman of boda boda riders in Kampala, Mr. Frank Mawejje who informed him that several boda bodas have been impounded from the riders due to lack of driving licences which have proved to be very costly.

“Our driving licences are being charged the same way as those for motor vehicles. That is unfair, Your Excellency. We want to pay for those licences but they are expensive, please help us and reduce the prices. The licences are charged between Shs400,000 and 600,000. If you can help us reduce the fees to Shs100,000, we shall be very grateful,”Mr. Mawejje said.

The President also assured the boda boda leaders that all the motorcycles which were impounded by police during operations are going to be set free.

“I'm also going to support you with motorcycles. I'm going to invite you and discuss how many boda bodas I will be putting in each division.”

President Museveni also thanked the Commissioner of Patriotism-Office of the President, Ms. Hellen Seku, for investing more hard work in promoting patriotism among Ugandans.

“This Patriotism Club had gone silent but when Seku came in, she started involving people who had been left behind. I'm also happy that as boda boda leaders you have come here to benefit from the gospel of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). In the past, Uganda was hard to rule because of numerous problems such as politics of identity-based on tribe and religion,” he said.

“By the time we reached Independence, we had three poisons;- politics of identity-based on tribe, religion and despising women and children. That was the politics which we had here. DP was a political party for the Catholics, UPC for protestants and Kabaka Yekka for Baganda. Those political parties are the ones which bring instability in your country. We got independence in 1962 and by 1966, we were already in wars- Mutesa and Obote. They were fighting because of the politics of identity.”

President Museveni further told the participants that the NRM has three historical missions which include prosperity for all, strategic security and “undugu” (brotherhood) to build a powerful state.

“That is where the NRM differed from others. We laid down our missions why we are into leadership,” he said.

The President said prosperity can only be achieved through producing a good or service and selling it.

“With mission number one, you ask yourself how are we going to prosper? Through begging and aid or? That is when NRM lectures that the prosperity that is going to help you sustain your family is by producing a product or a service and selling it. For example, you the boda boda operators, you are different from me as a farmer because I sell milk, meat and bananas. For you are not selling a product, but you are offering a service. So, you must have a good or a service which you sell,” he said.

“Here we told you that there are four sectors of the economy where you can create wealth. The first sector is commercial agriculture, the second sector is manufacturing, the third one is services and then ICT. We should ensure that all adult Ugandans are involved in the four sectors of the economy.

The President however informed the participants that the NRM government advocates for politics of interest and that is why it came up with the four core principles which include patriotism,  Pan-Africanism, Socio-economic Transformation and Democracy which are  key in promoting the much desired prosperity.

“In my area in Ankole we all produce milk, beef and bananas so we cannot buy from each other. The people who are going to help me move from poverty are those from other areas which don't produce similar products like mine. Those people are the ones who buy my beef, meat and bananas. When you come to Rwakitura and find that I have built a nice house it is not because of the Banyankore but other Ugandans.”

President Museveni on the other hand urged the boda boda leaders to mobilise their colleagues to embrace government programs such as the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga to fight poverty and create wealth.

The Minister for Presidency, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda said such training helps to remind people about their role in keeping the stability of their country and how they can contribute to the transformation of their places.

Hon. Babalanda noted that the choice of participants in this patriotism training was good since the Boda boda riders have previously been used in instances that undermined the development of their country and brought about instability.

“Thus, if they are exposed to such training it will go a long way to fight insecurity. Your, Excellency; since 2020 the opposition elements have masterminded uprisings that aimed at destabilising Uganda. However, rather than return fire with fire; our security forces led by the UPDF have instead engaged the public to talk to them out of these actions and to remind them of the importance of having a peaceful and stable country,” she said.

The Minister explained that this community strategy has worked and there are examples to show such as the peace we experienced during the NAM and G-77 Summits in Kampala.

“Indeed, some opposition actors tried to mobilise the population, especially the boda-boda to demonstrate during the summits, but this failed miserably due to this engagement. Sir, this was a very bad signal to the opposition and a good signal to show that our people are beginning to love their country.”

“The minority selfish opposition actors who are funded by some western countries that hate peace and stability in the Great Lakes region were isolated and ashamed.”

Hon. Babalanda also appealed to the boda boda operators who have received the training to go out there and be ambassadors to change the mindsets of their peers to love their country and to keep peace and stability in their areas.

“The boda boda are very instrumental in maintaining peace because they interact with community members daily and they can fight crime, terrorism and riots through intelligence gathering and sharing; and resisting to participate in illegal activities,” she said.

“I also encourage them to take advantage of the wealth creation programs that the government has put in place such as Emyooga where they are well planned for.”

The Minister of State for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Hon. Kabuye Kyofatogabye thanked President Museveni for bringing sanity to the boda boda industry by putting up several structures that have been guiding the operators to the right way.

“Your Excellency, I request that you give us more time and meet all the other boda boda riders who have not got the chance to be here. They love you and want to meet you.”

The Commissioner of Patriotism-Office of the President, Ms. Hellen Seku welcomed President Museveni to the training school and thanked him for sparing some time to come and interface with the ordinary people.

Commissioner Seku informed the President that despite some existing challenges, boda bodas are very essential in the lives of Ugandans and they immensely contribute to the development of the country.

“A lot has been said about boda bodas in the Kampala Metropolitan Area, most of which are very negative. They have been branded unruly, chaotic, in-disciplined and anti-progressive. This is because the motorbike is the most preferred means for criminals. After all, it is easy to manoeuvre through traffic and can pass through small shortcuts. That is why all the assassinations we have witnessed are executed by criminals travelling on motorcycles,” she said.

“Yet the ordinary boda boda riders are hardworking people who wake up every day with the rest of the Ugandans to go and fend for themselves and their families. Every Ugandan has at some point found themselves in need of the services of a Bodaboda.”

She also thanked President Museveni for demoralising some boda boda cliques who were taking part in subversive activities that caused chaos in the city and other parts of the country.

Ms. Seku further commended the Patriotism Secretariat and some government officials who have put in the effort to bring boda boda operators together and mobilised them in unity and against bad practices.

The Commandant of the Oliver Reginald Tambo School of Leadership and Pan-African Centre of Excellence, Col. Justus Rukundo informed Gen. Museveni that a total of 372 boda boda leaders have been undergoing a patriotism development course.

“The course modules which we covered include ideological orientation and leadership skills, government plans and efforts towards national transformation with emphasis on the boda boda industry whereby we invited key government ministries, agencies and departments to give their part in the whole equation of national transformation,” Col. Rukundo said.

“I wish to thank all those who were able to sacrifice their time to come and share with the participants the linkages between their sectors and the boda boda industry in the equation of national transformation.”

The Chairman of boda boda riders in Kampala, Mr. Frank Mawejje thanked President Museveni for being the brain behind the boda boda industry in the country that has given employment to a good number of Ugandans.

“We appreciate all that you have done for us. I don't think there's any sector you treasure so much like this one. What proved us is during the Covid-19 period lockdown you let us work throughout. You didn't stop at that,  you even directed the Prime Minister to send us some financial support via Mobile Money,” Mr Mawejje asserted.

He also lauded the President for letting them operate freely in the city despite some challenges.

“The Technocrats have always wanted to kick us out of the city, but you have always defended us. Mzee, we thank you for always being by our side,” Mr.  Mawejje noted.

“We pray that this program continues so that our other colleagues also benefit from it. Many of them are out there being used by some politicians to involve themselves in criminality like protests. Such programs will help them to transform. We need to create a patriotic boda boda force that loves our country.”

He also pledged to the President that as boda bodas operators, they would work with the government to ensure peace and unity in the country.

“We are also being cheated by the rich people who give us boda bodas on loans. Your Excellency, we request you to look through that issue also.”

Mr. Ssegembe John Bosco, the Chairman of boda boda riders in Wakiso District also thanked President Museveni and the government for the usual support rendered to the boda boda industry.

He assured the President that as boda boda operators, they are behind him and they will mobilise Ugandans to embrace government programs to develop themselves.

“We are also behind you in fighting criminality.”

The event was also attended by Members of Parliament, Resident District Commissioners, and UPDF top officers, among others.


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