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Boda Boda Riders Enthrone New Patron

Under their umbrella, Boda Boda Industry Uganda, which brings together over 60 Boda Boda associations across the country, the riders unveiled their patron at an event at St. Henry's Gardens along Salaama Road in Makindye Division, Kampala.
Kyengera Town Council Chairman Abdu Kiyimba enthroned as Patron of Boda Boda Riders

Audio 4

Boda Boda riders in Kampala have enthroned the former Kyengera Town Council LC III Chairperson, Abdu Kiyimba as their new Patron more than three years after the collapse of Boda Boda 2010.  

Under their umbrella, Boda Boda Industry Uganda, which brings together over 60 Boda Boda associations across the country, the riders unveiled their patron at an event at St. Henry's Gardens along Salaama Road in Makindye Division, Kampala.

Kiyimba was enthroned in a brief ceremony where the leadership of the Boda Boda Industry Association dressed him in a yellow robe, a helmet, and tag with inscriptions “PATRON Boda Boda Industry” before installing him in a seat as a symbol of taking up the office.

Kiyimba accepted the appointment and committed to revolutionaries the Boda Boda Industry and install sanity in errant riders. He promised that no one shall tamper with the industry while he is the patron.

//Cue in: "Nneebaze obwesigwa nomutima...  

Cue out: ...ate wenfiira awo,"//     

Kiyimba was appointed by the association leaders from the five divisions of Kampala and Kampala Capital City Authority leadership. Siraj Mutyaba, the Chairman of Boda Boda Industry Uganda says that the presence of a patron shall empower their leadership structures and enhance their negotiations with the government in a bid to streamline the Boda Boda Industry.   

Mutyaba says although Boda Boda employs millions of people across the country, there is a lack of acceptance from the government and no concerted efforts have been undertaken to organize the industry. 

//Cue in: "Olunaku lwaleero tutongozza...

Cue out: ...ebadde eri mubbanga,"//

There have been several attempts to organize Boda Boda riders in Kampala but to no avail. In 2006, the then Commissioner of Police Community Affairs, Asan Kasingye working with Boda Boda groups in Kampala commissioned traffic wardens under Kampala Union Boda Boda Cyclist Association-Kuboca in a bid to organize the Boda Boda Industry, fight crime and regulate traffic among the riders.

But these were soon accused of conniving with individuals in Police and Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA to stage illegal arrests and extort money from riders. The accusations reached the president who engaged then Inspector General of Police-IGP, Kale Kayihura about the matter. Kayihura then working with riders and KCCA mooted a plan to re-organize the riders afresh.

In 2010, Kampala City Council (now KCCA) organized an election of Boda Boda-Boda riders, and Abdallah Kitatta, who was Chairman of the National Resistance Movement party-NRM in Lubaga was elected as the patron. Kitatta worked closely with security before complaints of torture, extortion, and arbitrary arrests of the riders against him emerged.   

Boda Boda-Boda 2010 fell with the arrest of Kitatta in 2018 on allegations of illegal possession of firearms following the death of Francis Ekalungar, an accountant at Case Hospital leaving the riders without a unifying body. In 2020, the government announced plans to register Boda-Bodas, gazette stages, and operationalize the Boda Boda free zone but this is yet to happen. 

Talks between the government represented by KCCA, the Ministry of Security, the Ministry of Local government, and the Ministry of Works and Transport continued to engage Boda Boda riders on how to organize themselves. One of the proposals agreed upon by the government and the riders was to unite and form an apex body.

Umar Isabirye, the Chairperson of Boda Boda-Boda Industry Uganda in Makindye Division says that they have made several attempts to streamline the industry but the government has always moved slowly. He says when reshuffles happen in the government, those leaving office seem to go with everything and when officers assume office, they start from scratch to organize the Industry. He is optimistic, the Patron shall play a key role as their focal person in government. 

//Cue in: "Mubbanga eddene lyetubaddemu...

 

Cue out: ...tutadde kumulimu,"//

Akram Kasule, the head of security in Boda Boda Industry Uganda, says that they have been suffering at the hands of security personnel, thieves, and KCCA law enforcement but hope that when they are well organized, all this shall cease to happen.

//Cue in: "Tukkiriza Hajj Kiyimba...

Cue out: ...ogwa Boda Boda,"//

KCCA has often referred to Boda Bodas when discussing disorder in the City. They have been accused of abusing traffic regulations and causing a menace in the City. To realize order in the City, KCCA started a campaign to remove vendors off the streets.

In a recent interview with URN, the Kampala Central Division Physical planner who headed operations against street vendors said that after dealing with vendors, they shall organize Boda Bodas and taxis especially those that operate from outside the park