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COVID -19: Boda Boda Riders Continue to Defy Ban on Public Transport

Several boda boda riders have defied the ban on Public transport, a day after President Museveni banned all public means.
A boda rider carries a passenger at the northern by pass

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Several boda boda riders around the country have continued to defy the ban on Public transport, two days after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced it.

On Wednesday evening the president issued an order suspending the use of public transport in order to reduce the spread of the highly contagious Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The public transport means suspended include all taxis, all coasters, minibuses, buses, passenger, trains tuk tuk and boda bodas.  

However, by Thursday and Friday morning, several boda boda riders were seen carrying more than two people along the by-pass, while many others around Kamwokya and the town centre and different parts of the country are also operational. 

  

Isaac Arinaitwe, a Boda rider who was carrying two people around the Northern bypass says he worked in the night and was only returning home at 7:00 am. 

He says the presidential directive was good in trying to stop the spread of the virus, but many of them have to work to make money to look after their families. "My children are at home, I usually make money daily, but stopping boda boda’s at this time means we shall be seriously affected," he said.

URN ordered for a safe boda for a trip from Mawanda road Police to Parliament, and a safe boda fully clad in safe boda Uniform came and was willing to transport this reporter.

The rider, Jacob told URN that he is still working and they have not got any directive from the company to stop working.  “Even taxify is still on, I have so far carried four people since morning, but the company has not told us to stop, and the app is still on” he said on Thursday.

In Kisaasi areas, boda boda riders have resorted to carrying passengers from the communities dropping them to the roadside for fear of being arrested. Semeiri Kakaire a boda rider from Iganga Municipality who was found carrying a passenger but was blocked by Police at Jinja Municipality says Government should give then financial aid.

//Cue in: “Yandikabaire nga asobola… 

Cue out:..sengula family daife.”// 

Police is arresting several boda boda riders country wide who defy the presidential directive.    

Meanwhile taxi drivers have all observed the ban despite protesting it. From Kawanda to Bwaise and Kamwokya areas there were no taxis operational. 

At the Northern bypass, there were also no taxis, but most private cars and trucks.  

A taxi driver who preferred to remain anonymous says that it is impossible for them to survive. He says they do not know what to do now, yet they have to survive.   

//Cue in: “Yandibadde atugumirinkiza kubanga…  

Cue out:…atusindise mu kyalo kubanga.”// 

In many other districts upcountry, boda boda bikes are seen moving, while taxi’s have all been stopped.

In Lira town, our reporter managed to use two boda boda to go around her business, without being stopped and also observed several other boda bikes carrying passengers.  

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