A few days after blocking city councillors and the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago from discussing the issues surrounding the bodaboda business, Kampala minister convened one at President’s office last Saturday.
Among those who attended include the security minister Gen. Henry Tumukunde, state minister for Kampala Benna Namugwanya and other 17 bodaboda groups attended the meeting. Representative of Bodaboda 2010 Association shunned the meeting.
During the meeting the rival narrated to the ministers how they were tortured by the Bodaboda 2010 Association.
“I still have wounds on my legs. The trouble started when Kitatta group hijacked me at Natete bodaboda stage last year in June because I had refused to pay the monthly fee,” narratesAli Kaddu, boda boda cyclists.
Listening to one by one, Tumukunde and Kamya said to solve the problem, they pushed for fresh registration of bodaboda cyclists.
An inter-ministerial committee will be set up to handle the matter. It will include officials from KCCA the ministries of Security, Kampala, Works and Transport and the ministry without Portfolio. The officials will also draw a plan for Boda boda management.
Will they manage?
In 2013, KCCA executive director Jennifer Musisi faced it with Abdullah Kitatta and his group, when they rallied all the commercial cyclists, not to participate in the registration exercise.
Kitatta, who is now jailed, accused of being involved in the murdering of the Case Clinic Accountant Francis Ekalungur, is the patron of Bodaboda 2010 Association.
By registering, Musisi wanted to verify ownership of motorcycles, sensitizing riders to acquire permits and issuing riders with identity cards and jackets of colours according to divisions of operation.
Musisi was forced to have a round table with Kitatta and he Okayed the registration.
But it didn’t go well because KCCA managed to register about 60,000 and the yet the authority expected more than that.
With Kitatta, the once a strong and influential NRM party chairman Rubaga division now that he is behind the bars and Tumukunde being involved, this time, the registration might go smoothly.
Why bodaboda cyclists have to register?
The purpose of registering, Tumukunde wants to streamline Boda boda industry managed by one president, but with representation from all associations.
Efforts to get Kamya were futile but Hassan Kasibante, the political assistant to Kamya told PML Daily this morning that they will register bodaboda cyclists to enable KCCA get annual taxes.
Cyclists will be trained also to enable them be able to engage in other productive ventures.
In 2013, KCCA had proposed Shs20,000 to be paid by commercial cyclists, but Kitatta and his group, opposed the fees, arguing that very can afford it.
In its survey it conducted in 2013, KCCA revealed that on a fruitful day, a bodaboda cyclist can raise sh 50,000.
Kitatta responding to KCCA then, Kitatta said at the end of the day, majority of the cyclists are servicing the loans, they secured to buy motorcycles.
“They also have families to they feed. And the financial institutions put them on pressure to pay back the loans,” Kitatta argued then.
During the Saturday meeting Tumukunde challenged whoever calls himself Kitatta’s Godfather to come out and they face off.
“That talk of ‘above’, behaving with impunity has no place in Uganda today. I want to see he who calls himself big -Godfather to Kitatta- to come out,” Gen. Tumukunde said.
Tumukunde’s statementswas sending it to Police force, whom some bodaboda cyclists are accusing of shielding criminals with in the bodaboda business.
“Ever since we arrested Kitatta we have been waiting for people he has been calling his Godfathers in vain. There is no longer a place in Uganda for people called ‘the above,” Tumukunde, the former bush war