By Michael Odeng and Barbra Kabahumuza
The E-Trade Association has appealed to the Government to reconsider its decision on the 7:00pm curfew for bodabodas.
Addressing journalists at Fairway Hotel in Nakasero, Kampala yesterday, the chief executive officer of Jumia, Ron Kawamara, said this would enable access to affordable transportation means for all Ugandans.
“Banning bodabodas after 7:00pm will make the journey back home on foot at night very dangerous for all Ugandans, especially women, the elderly and disabled,” he stated.
Kawamara revealed that less than 1% of Ugandans own a car and opt for taxis, but bodaboda transportation provides a safer, efficient, affordable, convenient, as well as last-mile and door-to-door service.
Statistics from the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry indicate that the bodaboda industry is the second largest employer in Uganda after agriculture and provides livelihood to about seven million citizens.
Bodaboda transport is also considered one of the cheapest and most effective modes of transport that facilitates business engagement.
Kampala Capital City Traders’ Association spokesperson Isa Ssekitto said 50% of the intended objective in regard to economy recovery will not be achieved if the bodabodas are not allowed to operate 24 hours. He said the association needs to cooperate with security agencies to find a way of eliminating wrong elements in bodaboda groups.
The director of SafeBoda Uganda, Ricky Rapa Thomson, said closure of bodaboda business by 7:00pm defeats the purpose of reopening the economy if the riders cannot stay a little longer to make money missed in the last two years.