The fate of Bodaboda operators hangs in the balance even as Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS), Fred Matiang’i and Transport CS, James Macharia craft ways to bring order and sanity to the industry.
Through a March, 15 gazette notice, a 13-member task force has been formed to bring sanity to the ever-expanding but largely unregulated industry.
“The task force will evaluate the market environment for operation of public service motorcycle business, including its attendant challenges. It will also undertake any other activities required for the effective discharge of its mandate,” stated an excerpt of the gazette notice.
Reports indicate the task force will ban bodaboda from certain areas, even as specific areas will be constructed as designated pick and drop-off points.
Task force members
Members of the committee are Njeri Waithaka, Nick Korir, Tom Macharia, Michael Kimani, Lucy Karume, Thomas Ogutu, Kennedy Odhiambo Okong’o, Kevin Mubadi, Martin Eshiwani, Joseph Agingu and Lydia Mambo.
Julius Mathenge and David Oleshege were appointed as chair and vice-chair respectively.
Long and medium-term solutions
The team is expected to come up with both medium and long term reforms in the rapidly growing sector, where an estimated 700,000 riders operate, with the figure expected to rise to over a million by 2020.
This comes after various accusations made against boda boda riders, with some mentioned in cases involving trafficking in arms, drugs, and humans, as well as involvement in robbery and murder.
Riders have also developed a reputation of mobbing motorists when one of them is involved in an accident.
Late last year, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti revealed that detectives had profiled one individual in the city who owned 250 boda bodas for use in drug trafficking.