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Planned Election of Masaka Boda-boda Leaders Flops Amid Clashes

The elections had been planned by the RDC as an intervention to reorganize the industry and enable cyclists to tap into government’s wealth creation programs. He, together with the local security team had taken charge of the process and mobilized cyclists to participate in the elections, which were to take place at Masaka Liberation Square.

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The planned elections for the new leadership of Boda-boda riders in Masaka district has flopped following clashes between the Resident District Commissioner Herman Ssentongo and a section of cyclists. 

The elections had been planned by the RDC as an intervention to reorganize the industry and enable cyclists to tap into government’s wealth creation programs. He, together with the local security team had taken charge of the process and mobilized cyclists to participate in the elections, which were to take place at Masaka Liberation Square. 

However, the plan collapsed when a group led by Abdallah Ssenabulya, the chairperson of Masaka municipality Boda-boda riders’ association, stormed the venue and persuaded their colleagues to shun the process.  They accused Ssentongo pf using them to fulfil his selfish interests. 

Ssenabulya said they had learnt of a plot by the RDC to use them as rubber-stamps in obtaining money under the pretext of funding their SACCO.  He added that the RDC did not consult the existing leadership of the Boda-boda riders before organizing what he describes as a sham election. 

//Cue in; “njagala okutegeeza… 

Cue in...ebadde etambula.”// 

The group caused chaos as they disassembled the tents which had been erected at the venue. 

Moses Ssemugenyi, the Secretary for Mobilization of Boda-boda riders in Masaka municipality argues that the RDC had misled a small clique of riders from the rural areas on promises that he would take them to meet the president.  

According to him, the industry has its leadership, with a fully-fledged register of all its members and stages from which they operate. He wondered why the RDC avoided mobilizing through the existing structures. 

Ssentongo and his team, who arrived at the scene moments after the chaos, were only be received by just a handful of cyclists. Although he retracted after learning about the scuffles, Ssentongo said his office is planning another meeting with the cyclists to harmonize positions on modalities of forming a district association.