July 27th is when boda boda transport is supposed to resume operation in Uganda as per the easing of the lockdown restrictions. Initially boda boda were supposed to work but only to carry luggage up to a certain time.Given the largely informal sector,boda bodas belong to the zeze sector that is the zenkola Zendya (hand to mouth) so one can understand the effects of the lockdown on such a service.It is not surprising that a one Walugembe doused himself in Petrol and set self on fire.
Most of the boda bodas are acquired on a loan scheme where payment is on a daily basis in most micro finance institutions. So a lockdown for three months is something that wasn’t foreseeable. calls have been made to allow these guys back to work and with the easing of the lockdown, they are expected to resume work. In the Capital City reports are that they are going to be phased out and that is aproblem, first their contribution to the economy is immense.
The wave of City crimes have largely been connected to boda boda with groups such as Boda 2010 and several others, boda boda groups are also used by the politicians in fueling patronage throughout the country.
While addressing the country, the President said bodabodas will resume as long as they follow the SOPs and there comes the problem.The President made an assumption that only the rider can get infected and therefore directed that the cyclists shall register the name and contact information for each of the passenger something that is largely unworkable, will the registration be at the stage or anywhere since they are mobile , besides handing over private information to anyone breaches the right to privacy, Criminality will likely set in because one can obtain the information from riders for their own good. The President forgot to direct the Minister of transport to come up with further guidance on how the SOPs are to be carried out. Otherwise unemployment and poverty Will kill our people before covid does.