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We were not consulted on night ban, bodabodas

Bodabodas have decried being sidelined in a recent police directive that restricts their operation hours.

Police have imposed an 8pm to 6am curfew on the operators, attributing the surge in crime to gunmen who use motorbikes late in the night.

They however said the decision was rash and as industry stakeholders, they should have been consulted as well.

Imposing orders

“They should have asked us what measures we have put in place to curb insecurity instead of imposing orders on us,” said Mr Kenneth Onyango, chairman of the County Riders Welfare Association.

He said they only pick clients at designated points and blamed masqueraders who pick clients from undesignated spots for the rise in crime in the county.

“Commuters should also help us in curbing crime by boarding motorbikes at designated spots since this is where registered bodabodas operate,” added the chairman.

The newly formed association has 1,500 members who Mr Onyango said have put security as their priority.

“Our members hold valid driving licences, have helmets for customers and have taken comprehensive insurance cover,” he added.

While saying the move to ban night operations might have good intentions, he noted it could drive most of them out of business.

“Majority of the operators are reformed criminals and denying them their livelihood means that they go back to their old ways,” he said.

The curfew means that the riders who operated during the night shift are now forced to conduct business at daytime.

The operators say it is not clear when the curfew starts since County Commandant Benson Kibui had said it would start at 8pm until 6am while Inspector General David Kimaiyo said it would start at 6pm until 6am.

The association officials plan to meet with County Traffic Commandant Edward Mwamburi to initiate talks on the possibility of reversing the curfew.

If dialogue fails, the group plans to go to court as their last resort.