Officials of Gulu Modern Transporters Boda Boda Motorcycle Association were this morning shocked when enforcement officers from a rival association raided their office and made off with office furniture and cash. The new 800-member association was registered with Gulu District Local Government on February 5, with offices on Acholi Road in Gulu Municipality.The
Gulu District Boda Boda Association, the oldest boda boda association in the district, however, disagreed with the opening of a new association in town claiming sole existence.
At about 11:45am, a group of about 50 riders rode through Acholi Road hooting, causing concern from onlookers and other road users. The men in red and white, with others plain-clothed, tore off the association banner and entered their office forcing the vice secretary to run out for fear of being attacked.
Odong Geoffrey, the vice Secretary Gulu Modern Transporters, whno was found inside the office left, saying said he could not do anything to defend himself because he knows their office exist legally and the law will take its course.
“The Constitution of Uganda allows individuals to form associations and it is open. We left their association and started ours because members wanted accountability and transparency in expenditure and elections but it was not there. So we started this office.” Odong told PML Daily.
Odong could not, however, readily establish how much money was taken or destroyed from their office.
“Police will help us out with this because the treasurer had left money for membership fee and other documents in that drawer they took.”
The group charges Shs50,000 per rider for membership, Identity Card and motorbike.
Gulu District Police Commander Emmanuel Mafando told PML Daily that a case file has been opened by Gulu Modern Transporters at Gulu Central Police Station stating that a few items were vandalised from the office.
“Yes, we received that complaint this morning. A few items were vandalised, like furniture,” Mafondo said.
Meanwhile, Thomas Oboma, the Chairman Gulu District Boda Boda Association distanced himself from actions of his enforcement officers saying he did not order any violence against the new association.
“I am in Omoro. I don’t know what happened there. We had a meeting with all the boda boda riders in Gulu to sort out a few issues but we had no intentions of violence like the enforcement officers did,” Oboma told our reporter in a phone interview.
He added that there have been issues within the boda boda association in Gulu but he does not believe in taking the law into ones hands to solve them.
On 19th February, Gulu Resident District Commissioner Capt. Santos Okot Lapolo wrote a letter to the leaders of Gulu District Boda Boda Motorcycle Association seeking to halt their activities including elections due to complaints from members over irregularities in running the association.
The RDC cited failure to conduct AGM, lack of accountability for funds, dictatorship, personification of the office, inability to have disciplinary committee and meddling into roles of other offices by the chairperson among others.
The body, however, rubbished the claims of the RDC and went ahead to organise a surprise election at Pece Stadium on January27, where Oboma was reinstated as the chairperson of the association.
Gulu District Boda Boda Motorcycle Association has more than 7,000 operators from Gulu District.