Uganda’s Security Ministry has announced a plan to block commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as bodabodas, from accessing key streets in the capital Kampala, with the aim of securing powerful government officials and major offices.
This move will make some parts of Kampala bodaboda free zones in a city whose roads are characterized by chaos, disorganization and indiscipline.
Now, Security Minister Maj Gen (Rtd) Jim Muhwezi Katuuguugu wants his counterpart in charge of Kampala and Metroplitan Affairs as well as Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to rid some parts of the city of bodabodas.
In his view, Muhwezi is worried that the bodaboda stages on key roads near strategic offices pose a security threat to important offices in the capital, including the Office of the President.
He is also worried that some bodaboda riders are being recruited into criminal acts that could further endanger the city.
“As you know, there are mushrooming bodaboda stages along Apollo Kaggwa Road, Parliamentary Avenue, Colville Street and Nile Avenue and these roads have very strategic offices including that of the president,” wrote Maj Gen (Rtd) Muhwezi in his recent letter to his the city authorities, who include ministers Minsa Kabanda and Kabuye Kyofatogabye.
“With the current disorganized state in which the industry is operating, security is being compromised. Bodaboda riders are joining this mushrooming industry every day and they are being infiltrated by thugs who commit crimes against the public and fellow riders. There is a glaring absence of organized leadership within the industry which should be a channel of communication for efficient management and control of the operators.”
Muhwezi has argued that because bodabodas, pose “serious security concerns that deserve… prompt attention, they should vacate Apollo Kaggwa Road, Parliamentary Avenue, Colville Street and Nile Avenue “with immediate effect.”
So, what will those who have been using bodabodas to access these offices do. Muhwezi says that “the people who want to use them can walk to nearby areas at different points outside these areas.”
Poor Ugandans are increasingly realizing how they are likely to be pushed further away from the city and to be told what their place is in society. For example, weeks ago, a top Museveni government official told ordinary Ugandans that she will not die at Mulago like them but will be flown to America, and that her posh vehicle helps her not to feel potholes unlike poor Ugandans travelling in old taxis. (See Details Here).
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