Motor-cycle taxis accused of causing road accidents in Africa
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Motorcycle taxis, commonly called boda boda, are the main cause of road carnage in Uganda

The interest rate of a loan for a motor bicycle, popularly known as boda boda, is one hundred percent (100 %). If we had cash, we would be giving loans to the boda boda riders to them instead of money lenders in Uganda. Gulu City alone has over ten thousand (10,000) boda boda riders depending on loans without security. Our prayer is that Gulu City gets bonded warehouses and we would change the narratives. These sharks continue to milk them off their hard earned savings to buy vehicles and motorcycles.

GULU CITY-UGANDA: On Wednesday October 20, 2021, the humble Uganda Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny Dollo Chiga-mio was in Orapwoyo village in Pruanga Sub-county where mourners had gathered to bury his nephew, George Oyaro. He counseled against riding motorcycle taxis, commonly known as boda boda recklessly at the risk their lives.

Justice Owiny-Dollo says such motorbikes are usually acquired from unscrupulous sharks who charge one hundred percent (100%) interest on unsecured loans from the desperate youths who need quick money to spend on reckless lives like womanizing and merry making.

“The interest rate of loan for a motor cycle, popularly known as boda boda, is one hundred percent (100%). If we had cash, we would be giving loans to the bod boda riders instead of money from lenders in Uganda. Gulu City alone has over ten thousand (10,000) riders who are depending on loans without security. Our prayer is that Gulu City gets bondage warehouses and we can change the narratives. Those sharks continue to milk them of hard earned savings to buy vehicles and motor cycles”. He says humbly to mourners of their departed teacher and bother, Oyaro (RIP).

Justice Owiny-Dollo describes boda boda as a “lion” bond to finish our people, saying “when we were growing up, we called those things “piki piki or pigi pigi. When we coming here using Bobi to Opit road, we met one of them coming at a breakneck speed and was about to ramp head-on with my convoy but luckily we were cautious of such reckless riders and my driver managed to dodge him. He would have been killed and the bikes acquired on unsecured loan crushed beyond repair. Who loses and who gains? The next of kin would be burdened to pay the loan balance” he counsel mourners of their departed brother, Lapwony Oyaro.

“This boda boda will finish you. Instead of riding at breakneck speed, slow down since distance will not change. Why do you ride at breakneck speed to Gulu City, which is only fifty kilometers away? Why can’t you ride at reasonable speed and observe speed limit? If you get an accident, you will die prematurely. Life is more important than speed”, he told his listeners.

On, September 18, 2021 at 11.00 AM local time (about 8.00 GMT), St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor’s Emergency admitted more victims of road accidents caused by boda boda riders than the capacity of beds in the facility. The doctor in-charge transferred over sixty patients to Medicine Ward since more were still being brought in.

Mr. Justine Paul Ochora, the spokesperson for Gulu West City Division Boda Boda Association says the main challenges boda boda in Gulu City, are that the riders do not know road signs since they have not gone to driving schools resulting in road carnage. Another challenge, he says are the rampant robberies of motorcycles by purported clients.

“Government should give us time to the riders to get trained, get lenience and acquire driving permit. We need to professionalize motorbike business. If government can give us two years, we will be able to raise the money to train them and get license. Each time Police Traffic officers arrest us, we part with between UGX.40000.00 (about US$ 10.3) and UGX.100000.00 (about US$ 28.00) depending on where you get them, most often without issuing e-voucher to enable us pay in banks. But when you have all requirements, they will release your motor cycle”, he says.

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