Safe Boda Haggles with Riders Abandoning Company after Lockdown Glitches

Mainly in October 2020, the Safe Boda company decided to increase the deduction per ride from 10% to 15% which the riders protested at that time, however company leaders did not revisit the decision according to riders interviewed.

Audio 6

Several safe boda riders in Kampala are abandoning the Safe Boda App on grounds that the founders are failing to respect their views as riders subscribing with the company.

Among the reasons the riders give for abandoning is the failure of the top company leaders to listen and solve the challenges that affect them.

Mainly in October 2020, the safe boda company decided to increase the deduction per ride from 10% to 15% which the riders protested at that time however, their leaders did not revisit the decision according to riders interviewed.

They demanded that the company increases the transport fares on the App for them to be able to gain from their investment.

David Tushemerirwe, a boda rider found on Jinja road in Kampala says he abandoned the App after realizing that the company was not willing to review the transport fares to be based on the distance and time spent.

He explains that as a rider he invests a lot in the ride starting with the airtime to call the client, data to pair, fuel and the energy but at the end of the day the company "only thinks of deducting a high percentage and leaving the same rates chargeable when the dedication was still at 10%.

//Cue ;’’Kwegamba bwebwakuwangs…

Cue …tebaze distance’’//

Suleiman Kururagyire, another safe boda rider testifies that he moved from the App because though Safe Boda had given him the morale to work,, when the deductions were increased to 15% it was too much for him to continue working using the App.

He says that unless the company owners get back to the 10% or increase the fares chargeable to match the reality of distance, he has no intention of rejoining the safe boda company.

Kururagyire indicates that a number of riders he started with abandoned the company App resorting to independence yet they had built trust with the company before the increment issues.

//cue in;’Safe boda yatuwa…//

Cue out…ffe  bakama babwe’’//

Ahaya Mugambe, a safe boda rider says he feels frustrated using the App but he has no option as he still has a loan with the company.

Mugambe explains that most of the time he is forced to switch off the App and resort to charging his customers.


//cue in;’’Kikunyiga naye nga ….

Cue out…ng’omuntu toganyulwamu’’//

Patrick Tumwiine, a safe boda rider says that though he has no plans to leave the company he can tell that many riders have abandoned it.

According to Tumwiine safe boda changed a lot from its original standards revealing that the few riders now cherishing the company are mostly looking for privileges like the smart phones and boda boda loans.

He says these days on top of giving low fares the company no longer follow up the riders to find out the stages they operate from before recruitment hence taking on board amateurs before even training them.

//cue in;’’Naye kati esaawa zino …//

Cue out…training tekyaliwo’’//

Joseph Ssenyonjo, a rider who abandoned the company says the bosses refused to listen to the riders views to look into the fares and they went ahead and passed the 15% deduction even after a strong opposition.

He says he had no other alternative but to leave the company.

//cue in;’’Nga omusabaze sijja kumunenya…//

Cue out…jakusigala nga nyigirizidwa’’//

Meanwhile many of the riders claiming to have left the safe boda company were found with the company equipment, arguing they paid for them.

However, according to Ricky Rapa-Thompson, the safe boda Co-Founder, the riders have no right to retain the equipment on leaving the company.

He explains that this was done with an intention of avoiding those who might misbehave on the road and people mistake them to be active members hence damaging the reputation of the whole company.

Meanwhile on the issue of the riders abandoning the company Thompson acknowledges it however, attributes it to the lockdown. He also says his team is already in the field to ensure that the inactive riders bring back the company property.

According to Thompson they have since 2014 trained over 20,000 riders however, he could not reveal the retention rate as of today. He emphasizes that the company is continuing with the recruitment process.

//cue in;’’I want to …

Cue in… will say safeboda ‘’//