President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered a crackdown on rogue boda-bodas across the country and warned against politicising the issue by claiming that the government is targeting small businesses.
The President issued the directives while speaking at the Kenya School of Government on Tuesday, March 8, during the International Women's Day celebrations. He was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and her Rwandan counterpart, Janet Kagame.
Uhuru noted that the exercise will start in Nairobi and spread to other parts of the country following the Forest Road incident, where a woman driver was assaulted and harassed by boda boda operators, on Friday, March 4.
While reprimanding the aggressors, the Head of State, underlined that it was unfortunate for boda boda operators to assault the lady, adding that they soiled her reputation and his administration will not tolerate such acts.President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the visitor's book at the Kenya School of Government on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.PSCU
He added that all riders will be registered afresh and ordered multi-agency teams to swiftly act and restore sanity in the sector.
"A boda boda is not a licence to strip a woman and remove her dignity. There should never be a repeat of what happened on Friday. This is a blight on the whole Kenyan society," the President remarked.
"We want to support the bodaboda business but our efforts should not make them believe that they can do drive-by shootings. We will re-register all boda bodas. Those who want to politicise this let them go ahead and do that," he added.
He also acknowledged brave young men and women who do great work in the digital development agenda in the sector as well as protecting people who are in danger from their rogue colleagues.
Uhuru stated that his government is keen on growing the sector and urged the public to realise that most women use boda bodas as a means of transport. He explained that women trust the boda boda operators for easier and quick movement.
"We want to see our young people succeed in their businesses. We have done more to reduce the prices of these motorbikes and we did this to promote their businesses... we applaud the many wonderful young men and in some cases women who do great service to this country," he stated.
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i stated that the government resolved to crack down on the industry in an operation he termed as ‘painful’ but necessary.Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i addresses NGAOs from Nyamira County on Friday, January 14, 2022.Courtesy Ministry of Interior
He stated that 239 boda boda operators among them the main perpetrators of the Friday incident, were arrested subjected to fresh vetting.
"The Inspector-General of Police has begun re-vetting all these operators. That is why he has narrowed down on 239 of them already. Those with criminal records will be handed to the law. Please understand and work with the law,” he stated.criminal accident harass arrest
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