By Sania Babirye
A boda boda rider has been fined 1.1million shillings for operating without a permit.
Azizi Ssekitoleko was found guilty by City hall grade one magistrate Moses Nabende for operating the bodaboda without a driving permit and third party insurance.
While fining him, the magistrate ruled that evidence adduced by prosecution’s four witnesses was sufficient enough to prove that he committed the offense.
The magistrate however said that if he fails to pay the fine he should serve a 14 months’ imprisonment in Luzira prison.
Prosecution led by Pamela Orogot states that, Ssekitoleko on July 28th2017 at Acacia Avenue in Kampala at around 9; 00pm was found driving a motor cycle without a driving permit and third party.
The convict was arrested by police officers from Kira road police station who were patrolling the area.
By Gloria Nakiyimba
President Museveni urged armed officers, to always be vigilante, stop the car, if they realize they are being trailed by boda boda. Jump out of the car and sort the matter (shoot).
Head of state has vowed to arrest or kill the assailants of fallen AIGP Felix Kaweesi and his two minders; driver and body guard. Museveni vowed to hunt the assassins and follow them up to Congo following reports that these criminals could be from the neighboring country just as he dealt with Kony in northern Uganda, ADF in Kasese, ADF bombings in Kampala and cattle rustling in Karamoja.
In his message to the mourners at Kaweesi’s home in Kulambiro Sunday evening, Museveni advised the criminals to surrender if they don’t want to die.
The commander in chief ordered the IGP to clean up the police force especially the CID department which has been infiltrated by criminals. Museveni noted, instead of arresting criminals, police frame up the people with information on the real criminals, intimidate witnesses from giving evidence and sometimes killing them citing the incident of Rwakataka who had killed nine people in Rakai.
President Museveni has pledged to support the families of the three slain police officers, AIGP Kaweesi, his driver and body guard. He described the killers as pigs who do not value young people and idiots who go shooting people on boda boda sending the public into fear mode.
125 motorcycles were stolen in Bunyoro sub region between January 2016 and January this year. Slightly more than 100 were stolen in the previous year.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Regional Police Public Relations Officer, says Kiryandongo district was most affected with 54 motorcycles stolen followed by Hoima with 38 and Kakumiro 13.
Buliisa and Masindi district registered 11 and nine motorcycle thefts respectively. He says 90 of the motorcycles disappeared from their parking place in town and homes.
According to police records, 14 motorcycles were stolen after their owners gave them to pay who opted to ride themselves, seven were taken by thugs who waylay riders and two from police custody.
He says police have only managed to recover 27 out of the 125 stolen motorcycles as a result joint efforts involving the riders and different boda boda associations in the affected districts.
Hakiza also discloses that two cases are in court following the apprehension of the prime suspect, 26 are still under inquiry and 30 are still pending perusal and advice from the Resident State Attorneys in the affected districts.
Said Maani, the Chairperson Hoima District Boda Boda Rider’s Association, says motorcycle theft remains the biggest challenge to their work. He says most of the motorcycles are stolen by people who pretend to be riders.
He says most of the stolen motorcycles from Bunyoro end up in Kiryandongo and parts of Ankole sub region especially Ibanda and Kiruhura districts.
Makerere University students have launched a social media campaign aimed generating a public debate on the operations of passenger motorcycle transport commonly known as bodaboda’s.
The campaign, launched on micro-blogging site – Twitter, seeks to compel the police and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to reign in on what the students call recklessness of bodaboda cyclists.
Codenamed #RegulateBodabodas, the campaign comes hardly a week after Charity Komuhangi, a finalist student of Journalism at Makerere University died after being involved in a nasty accident. Kyomuhangi was on June 11, travelling on a bodaboda in Lungujja, a Kampala suburb when they were knocked by a car. She and the bodaboda cyclist, Rogers Kavuma died five days later.
This is the second time in one year that Makerere Journalism department has lost a student in a bodaboda-related accident. In May 2015, John Kabugo, then in his third year of study, died just a week after being involved in an accident.
Last week, Makerere University lost another student, Julie Tumwesigye from the College of Business and Management Studies (COBAMS), who was also involved in a bodaboda-related accident on June 10.
Students think that a campaign of this nature could force KCCA and the police to take action. Davidson Ndyabahika, a former Guild Information Minister, says the move aims at demanding answers from police and KCCA on why there is no visible regulation of bodaboda cyclists on the roads.
Ndyabahika says they want to create creating awareness of the dangers of the passenger motorcycles and to establish “if there’s any measures put in place to regulate them.
Within hours of launching the campaign, comments started coming in with many asking KCCA to regulate bodaboda cyclists.
Godfrey Ssali, a journalism student using @godfreyssali21 said, “Nothing in Uganda best represents lawlessness and recklessness than these men (cyclists). He says the cyclists behave as if they are exempted from traffic regulations.
Blanshe Musinguzi (@Johnblanshe_m) says Uganda is experiencing urbanization and motorization hence the need to regulate transport and reduce accidents. He asks: “Why can’t the Uganda police arrest Bodaboda riders who disregard traffic lights or those who carry more than one passenger.”
Another comment came from Branson (@Branson97733186) who said passengers should take charge when travelling. “Don’t forget that you the passenger, you are the boss with your money… order them efficiently.”
In 2013, KCCA introduced guidelines to regulate bodaboda transport in the city. The guidelines include mandatory registration, training, use of official reflector jackets and helmets. Cyclists are also required to pay a monthly fee of 20,000 Shillings.
The cyclists are expected to register in the divisions where they operate, buy a prescribed colour of the reflector jacket and a helmet, undergo training in first aid and update their permits, before they can get identification numbers.
A 2011 report by Makerere University College of Health Sciences and the department of orthopedics at Mulago indicates that about 40 percent of trauma cases at the hospital are from boda-boda accidents.
There were running battles in Hoima on Wednesday between police and boda boda riders protesting the release of Joseph Kahimba, a spare parts dealer linked to rampant motorcycle robberies. Kahimba is the proprietor of Kahimba and sons motorcycle spare parts.
He was picked up on Monday after one of the suspected motorcycle robbers implicated him in motorcycle thefts before he was lynched in Kiryatete. Paddy Aroho was lynched after confessing to have beheaded Godfrey Kunihira, a boda boda cyclist and stealing his motorcycle on Friday. Kahimba was rescued from an angry mob that stormed his shop baying for his blood and taken to Hoima Central Police Station for custody.
He was released on Tuesday evening without charge triggering protests from boda boda riders in the town. More than 200 boda boda riders stormed the office of Hoima Resident District Commissioner on Wednesday demanding an explanation why Kahimba had been released, yet he was implicated in the rampant motorcycle robberies. They accused police of siding with the robbers who continue to kill them.
Abdul Ssekamate, who led the cyclists wondered how such an implicated person, could just be set free.
Ambrose Mwesigye, the Deputy Hoima Resident District Commissioner promised to meet the boda boda cyclists later, saying he was still in a meeting with National Forestry Authority officials. The visibly angry cyclists later descended on Kahimba’s shop on Kwebiha road and attempted to vandalise it.
The rowdy cyclists also vandalised a prado vehicle registration number UAN607K, belonging to one Sena of Sena Motor Spares. Police dispersed the demonstrators shortly. Heavily armed policemen also conducted patrol on Kwebiha road as the cyclists vowed to vandalise the accused persons’ property.
Police has maintained deployment at Nexus Guest House, which belongs to Kahimba and at his home in Busiisi Division. Julius Hakiza, the Albert Region Police spokesperson, says Kahimba was released on Tuesday evening without charge, saying the businessman had only been kept for safe custody.
Another police officer told URN on condition of anonymity, that they released Kwebiha because there was no evidence pinning on him on the motorcycle thefts. The officer said the absence of evidence has remained a challenge in dealing with similar cases. Kahimba has not yet commented as his whereabouts are still unknown.