The Government has given Boda Boda operators 60 days to join registered Saccos in a move aimed at weeding out criminals from the sector.

This is part of the measures taken by the government following Monday’s sexual assault on a woman along Forest Road by a group of boda boda riders.

Speaking during a consultative meeting with riders at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said those who will not comply will not be allowed to operate.

“Within the period of registration because we will open the books on the 21st of March and we will do this exercise for 60 days consistently, make sure you have a smart riders license and make sure you are a member of a Sacco. The tradition is already there, now we want boda boda operators to be organized in saccos,” Matiangi said.

He further stated that each member will be issued with a certificate of the Sacco they belong to adding that SACCOs will also be required to maintain a digital register.

“With the certificates, if someone is involved in a criminal activity or behaves in an ill-mannered way, we will be able to know which Sacco he/she belongs to look for them and deal with them under the law,” said Matiangi.

The move is part of the interventions the government is putting in place to regulate the boda boda sector which has come under sharp criticism following a viral video where a female motorist was sexually molested by rogue operators.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the government will help digitize registration of the sector.

“We hope we will work with you closely to make sure we not only weed out these bad elements but that we now grow this sector so that in continues to expand. The time that we started around 2020 you were about 1.7 million riders but now you are 2.4 million riders so this sector is growing but if you allow these bad elements, it is going to mess up a sector that can transform this country in a very big way,” said Mucheru.

Inspector of General of Police Hillary Mutyambai assured support to the riders but vowed that the crackdown will continue until the rogue ones are eradicated

“We will work together and support the operation to streamline the sector to ensure the bad elements are not with us anymore,” Mutyambai said.  

During the meeting, Matiangi announced the waiver of Sh5,800 license fee for all Boda Boda riders.

“We will have to do a fresh registration to ensure only genuine riders are left because if you are genuine, you will have all your documents including Identification Card, PIN, certificate of good conduct and the criminals will not get the license. This will be the easiest way of getting rid of these rogue people,” Matiangi said.

“And for that reason, this morning the President has waived license fees. You will now get your license for free and there will be no excuses as to why you are not registered.”

He pointed out that the exercise which will kick off on the 21st of this month, will be conducted by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) following which they will be issued with Smart Cards.

“In additional to that registration, we will also start vetting the riders afresh. There are those of you whose records are at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and so on. In this vetting we are asking you to give us information some of these ill-mannered operators, which we will treat with a lot of confidentiality and ensure these rogue riders do not get the smart cards,” Matiangi said.  

On Tuesday, during World International Women’s Day Celebrations at the Kenya School of Government (KSG), President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered a nationwide crackdown of the boda boda operators and warned against politicization of the directive pointing out that his administration will do whatever it takes and at all cost to protect women and girls from all forms of Gender-Based Violence .

“I have ordered a crackdown on all boda boda operators starting from Nairobi and moving all across the country,” he said.

“There is no government that has supported the boda boda sector like we have but this is not a license to ride on pavements causing obstruction and most definitely it’s not a license for you to strip and remove dignity from our women,” said President Kenyatta.

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