95% of Kampala Bodaboda Riders are Mad- Transport Minister

The Minister of State for Transport, Fred Byabakama, has said 95% of the bodaboda riders in Kampala are mad.

He explains that the riders’ madness is the reason why many of them, and their passengers are dying in road crashes.

Byabakama, who was the chief guest at the launch of the global review report on traffic crashes and safe school zones conducted by Hope for Victims of Traffic Accidents (HOVITA) said KCCA officials examined a sample of 171 boda boda riders and found the overwhelming majority to be mad.

In order to minimize road crashes resulting from the mad bodaboda riders, Byabakama said this mode of transport should be declared a no-go zone so that people especially parents using it to transport children to school can avoid it.

But Siraje Mutyaba, the leader of boda-boda riders in Kampala Central said the minister’s statistic is exaggerated. He admitted that the boda-boda employment sector has a significant number of people who can be described as mad but they don’t reach 95%. Mutyaba did not however give a countering figure or estimate.

Sam Bambanza, the HOVITA executive director, said there is need to protect the children dying on roads every day by establishing a 30kph speed limit in all school zone areas. The statistics show Uganda lost 650 children below the age 18 in road crashes in 2022 while those who died between the ages of 18 to 24 were 703.

Byabakama said the bodaboda sector is also full of criminals like rapists, robbers, and defilers. He said in one of the recent engagements with boda boda riders he landed on a criminal who had been on the police wanted list from his constituency.

Mutyaba admitted that indeed the transport sector is for every body and this has seen criminals of all nature seeking refuge in it. He said in most cases the criminals they arrest are saved from prosecution by police officers.

Jackie Okao of the Global Health Advocacy Incubator-GHAI, said there are parents who expose their children to road crashes by giving them boda boda rider to take them to schools in far-away distances. She said she recently saw a child dozing while sitting on a bodaboda meaning she had traveled a long distance from school.

In reference to a road crash that killed 17 passengers in a taxi last week, MP Alex Ruhinda, wondered why people put vehicles they know are in dangerous mechanical conditions on roads and traffic police leaves them to drive at the expense of other road users.

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