Boda boda riders say Shs75,000 for registration, training exercise is too high

A growing number of boda boda riders in Kampala are refusing to register for training saying the costs for the training are too high.

Boda boda riders in Kampala

In April this year, the Ministry of Works and Transport, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Uganda Police Force joined with the Uganda Driving Licencing Agency to train commercial bike riders (boda boda riders) in a bid to fine-tune the boda boda industry.

This was decided in the context of allegations that Boda boda riders are reckless on the road and abuse traffic rules, leading to avoidable and often fatal accidents.

Kampala’s City Deputy Lord Mayor Doreen Nyanjura supports the Boda Boda Industry being organised but says that attempts to organise the industry should follow the Public Transport Bill, which KCCA is working on, to streamline public transport.

Nyanjura, however, says that what is happening at the moment is “thuggery” with Boda Boda riders being made to pay for a service that does not have the backing of the Council.

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, while officially launching the registration and training program, last week said that no Boda Boda shall be allowed to operate in Kampala if they are not registered and trained.

She added that only 7000 Boda Bodas shall be allowed to operate in Kampala’s Central Business District.

To register, a Boda Boda rider must have a recommendation letter from their division of operation to prove they are operating from a particular stage.

Only recommendation letters from the Boda Boda Industry Uganda, an umbrella association of Boda Boda associations, are permitted.

The letters are given at a fee, ranging from 5000 to 10,000 shillings. The recommendation letter is what a rider presents to the front desk at the registration and training center.

Thereupon, at Kira Road police grounds, a rider accesses the first tent where officials from the Boda Boda Industry Uganda check and stamp their recommendation letters before they are led to the KCB Bank tent where they make payment of Shillings 60,000 and a receipt issued before they proceed to the next tent for a health check-up.

The Boda Boda rider is required to pay between 500 to 1000 shillings to park their motorcycle at the registration and training grounds at Kira Road Police grounds each time they come for training over a period of five days. Thus, a Boda Boda rider requires between 65,000 to 75,000 shillings for the training.

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