Boda boda rider denies robbing female client

By Sania Babirye

A 30 year old bodaboda rider accused of robbing a female client has accused police and the victim of framing him.

While appearing before Justice Flavia Angelin Senga to defend himself, Akankwasa Alex told court that he did not know the said victim Katushabe Lydia and that he was at home sleeping on the night of 8th October 2016 when the said incident happened at Namugongo.

Akankwasa is accused of robbing Katushabe her mobile phone worth 160,000 shillings and her bag cintaining 200,000 in cash

However, Akankwasa has denied the said allegations including Katushabe’s sim card line he was allegedly arrested with saying police planted it in him when they arrested him and detained him at police.

He also told court that by the time of his arrest, he was just from the village and did not own any Mobil phone.

He also denied ever threatening Katushabe with a knife while allegedly robbing her.

Bodaboda thieves remanded to Luzira

By Sania Babirye

The high court in Kampala remanded to Luzira prison two people who are said to have been using a chloroform to robe motorcycles commonly known as bodabodas.

These culprits are Joweria Kaweesi and Joseph Luswata.

They were remanded until the 27th of this month after High Court Judge Elizabeth Kabanda charged them with aggravated robbery but denied the charges.

Prosecution states that Joweria Kaweesi, Joseph Luswata and others still at large on the 18th of February 2016 at Mawanga zone Buziga makindye division in Kampala the two arrested robbing a motorbike from a one Lawrence Sekamatte using chloroform.

These are said to have been spraying their victims with the said dangerous chemical before taking off with their motorcycles valued at 3million Uganda shillings.

Meanwhile prosecution informed court that investigations into the matter are still ongoing.

Boda boda riders save legislators from arrest

By Gloria Nakiyimba

In a dramatic move, boda boda riders in the northern district of Amuru on Monday forcefully whisked away five legislators from a police station where they had been taken following their arrest after a foiled demonstration against the giveaway of the land in Appaa belonging to the Acholi community.

Police in Gulu today blocked the demonstration and arrested five members of parliament from Acholi .

Those arrested included Kilak South constituency member of parliament Olanya Gilbert, Arru county legislator Samuel Odonga Otto, Tochi county MP Okot Peter, Amuru district woman representative Akello Lucy, and Kilak north law maker Akol Anthony.

The law makers are against a government move to give away 42 square kilometers of the land in Appaa to a foreign investor without compensating the bonafide owners.

“The rightful owner of the land in Apaa is the Acholi community, and the truth of the matter is that, that land of Appaa was given to some white man ; an investor called Bruce Martin . The man comes from South Africa” Kilak south constituency legislator Olanya Gilbert told Capital radio.

They were intercepted on their way to Kaunda grounds where they were heading to address the affected community about their grievances.

“We organized peaceful demonstration today to move and address the people in Acholi at Kaunda grounds, and when were moving very smartly without any chaos, police officers came, they blocked us , they started removing the placards we had and started arresting all of us the five members of parliament” said mp Olanya

Police took them to Gulu Central Police station but upon arrival, the law makers refused to enter police cells insisting it is their right to demonstrates

“From the CPS we refused, we rejected to enter inside the police cell , we told them we have not broken any law, demonstration is a right to an individual, we are showing our grievances for what is what going on in Appaa since the government is not helping us” he added.

As the push back and forth continued outside the Gulu CPS, the number of boda boda riders and some youth following the mps started swelling up. The riders took away the mps before police could force them to enter the cells.

“I am happy that boda boda people brought their motorcycle at the police station, forcefully started carrying all the members of parliament away. They really removed us forcefully from the hands of the police. I am happy that boda bodas came and rescued us” he averred.

Mp Olanya accuses government of siding with General Moses Ali from Madi and some members of the madi community to deny the land rights to the people of Acholi.

According to MP Olanya “what is going on right now in Appaa is really so alarming. You find some UPDF officers who own land in Appaa, they are burning the houses of the people of Acholi and chasing away”.

The Acholi community is protesting the giveaway of the land to an investor because they are the genuine owners.

“The Acholi community, who are occupying that land, told the government clearly that they cannot give our land because we were born there, we grew there. And Acholi community asked the government to come and negotiate peacefully with the land owners who are there. But the government say no…that land must be given to an investor” he explained.

Works ministry driver charged with careless driving

By Sania Babirye
A 40 year driver with the Ministry of Works and Transport has been charged with knocking dead a bodaboda rider.

Francis Mukyagwe appeared before city hall court grade one magistrate Patrick Talisuna and pleaded not guilty to the charge of causing a death of a motor cyclist through careless driving.

He has however been released on a 50million shillings court bond not cash and his two sureties each ordered to execute a non cash bond of 30million shillings.

He has now been ordered to return to court on the 21st of this month 2019 for mention of his case as investigations into the case continues .

Prosecution led by Lydia Batiibwe states that, on the 2nd of 2018 at Kigowa along Northern by pass, the suspect did drive a motor vehicle UG 0448 Nissan /cabin while on the road and caused the death of Wernerto Gaullen.

Kitata’s request to moved from Makidye to Luzira prison not granted

By Sania Babirye
The General Court Martial sitting in Makindye has started hearing of  the case against the leader of  Boda-Boda 2010 Abdullah Kitata and 12 others.
Today, prosecution led by Raphael Mugisha has presented two witnesses including Private Ruchard Kasajja to testify against Kitata and others before   army court chaired by Lt.Gen. Andrew Gutti.
Kitata and his 12 co accused are together charged with  6 counts including unlawful possession of firearms, live ammunition, Military head gears and uniforms
However  Kitata  is facing   5 separate  charges of being in unlawful possession of an SMG gun, 3 pistols  and 50 rounds of live ammunition which Prosecution  says  are  only a monopoly of the Uganda Peaople’s Defense Forces.
The rest of the  accused  are said to have connived with Kitata to unlawfully  possess  Military head gears and uniforms that    were allegedly  found on  them  on the 18th/January 2018  in  a Motor vehicle at Vine Hotel in Wakaliga within Kampala city.
The  army  court did also refuse Kitata’s  request to be transferred from Makindye military police barracks back to Luzira prison when he had alleged that he was not
receiving enough or adequate  medical care and access to his relatives  while in the army detention.
Gen Gutti declined on grounds that his decision to have Kitata remanded to Makindye barracks can not be reversed since Kitata was transferred for security reasons.
He has since applied for bail citing poor health conditions.

Boda Boda rider fined over Ugx 1M for operating without a permit

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.

President Museveni orders security officers to shoot suspicious boda boda riders following them.

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.

 

Over hundred riders lost their Bodas in the last one year in Bunyoro sub region

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.

 

 

 

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Increasing fatal accidents prompts MUK students to start a social media campaign dubbed #RegulateBodaBodas

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.

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Boda Boda riders clash with police over suspected motorcycle thief

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.

-URN