Parliament has raised concerns about the continued rise in the gruesome murders of boda boda riders in the country asking government to scale up interventions in reversing the trend.
The motion urging government to take a critical look into the bodaboda riders’ plight was brought by MP David Abala (NRM, Ngora County).
“The deceased [murdered bodaboda riders] leave behind families; the murderers sell the bodabodas in spare parts yet this business [of motorcycle spare parts] is not regulated,” said Abala.
“A forensic investigation into rampant murders and robberies of motorcycles will not only serve to bring the perpetrators to book but also restore confidence in government,” he added.
Cases of rising murders of commuter motorcycles, christened bodabodas, continue to rise in the country, with the recent shocker of a murder of a rider in Rubaga caught on CCTV camera.
The suspected murderers were later arrested and paraded to the media by Police, where they confessed to the murder and recreated the act to the chagrin of the public.
MP Muhammad Kivumbi (DP, Butambala), who is the Shadow Security Minister, placed the responsibility at the hands of state intelligence organisations.
“Security forces in this country; Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and other spy networks…if there is any place they have deployed heavily, it is in the bodaboda industry. How come that where they have deployed most is where there are many cases of murder?” said Kivumbi.
Kivumbi said government has failed to properly complete the task of cleaning up the bodaboda industry, which he said started with the arrest of BodaBoda 2010 group patron, Abdallah Kitatta who is serving a sentence of nine years in Luzira Maximum security prison.
Kitatta was arrested and charged with several counts, including illegal possession of firearms, by the General Court Martial of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).
He was a close ally of former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura.
MP Lilian Nakate (NRM, Luweero) said efforts to curb the rising cases of murders of motorcycle riders will have to begin with the regulation of the sale of spare parts.
“I call for the regulation of the selling of spare parts and also tracking of motorcycles in the country,” said Nakate.
MP Syda Bbumba (NRM, Nakaseke North) placed the blame on motorcycle riders themselves who she said have cultivated a culture of impunity and indispensability in breaking traffic laws.
“Many of these bodaboda riders are not qualified; many of them are underage;quite a number of them are indisciplined and that is why you get to hear about many cases of mob justice where they are involved,” she said.
Last year, President Museveni addressed Parliament on the rising cases of high profile murders and said bodaboda riders will be registered and have unique numbers printed on their helmets, which will be able to reflect in the dark.
The proposal is yet to see the light of day.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked government to take the matter seriously, with stand-in Leader of Government Business, Hon Vincent Ssempijja promising a comprehensive statement next week.