Boda-Boda Cyclists Accuse Police of Extortion

1395 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The police have been conducting operations aimed at apprehending errant cyclists. And now some of the cyclists along William Street claim that they are arrested by people in civilian clothes and are made to pay a lot of money even when they have all the requirements.

Some Boda boda cyclists in Kampala have reacted angrily to what they call harassment by the police and traffic wardens.
 
The traffic police assisted by other law enforcement personnel have been conducting an operation aimed at apprehending errant cyclists.
 
The operation, launched last week comes days after students of Makerere University engineered a two-week social media campaign codenamed #RegulateBodabodas. This was after two university students died in accidents involving boda boda cyclists.  
 
And now some of the cyclists along William Street claim that they are arrested around Kampala by policemen in civilian clothes and are made to pay a lot of money even when they have all the requirements. The cyclists say they also endure harassment from traffic wardens, a group of civilians trained by the police to help in regulating traffic. One of the cyclists who declined to be named explains.
 
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The cyclists now threaten a demonstration saying it is the only way to make their voices heard.  
 
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Charles Kyagulanyi, who operates from the Equatorial Mall stage, shares his experience.
 
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Abubaker Musoga, another cyclist adds that they now operate with uncertainty because they cannot differentiate a traffic officer from any other individuals. And this, he says, is risky to both the cyclists and passengers.
 
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Some of them however adimit that sometimes they do not have the legal requirements, particularly driving permit but attribute it to the high costs attached to acquiring them.
 
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Norman Musinga, the Kampala Metropolitan Traffic commander, when contacted this morning dismissed the claims as baseless adding that the operation to apprehend errant cyclists will continue.
 
Musinga insists the boda boda cyclists are reckless and that some of them have attempted to harm police officers.  
 
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