The government has issued a stern warning to boda boda operators in Kisumu’s posh Milimani estate following rising cases of insecurity in the area.
Residents of the estate have raised concerns over being mugged and having their phones snatched by people riding on boda boda.
The criminals who disguise themselves as bona fide boda boda operators carry two pillion passengers who stop and attack targets within the estate, especially after 5:00 p.m.
They use pangas, knives, and crude weapons to attack victims, the majority of whom are waylaid while opening gates to their houses.
A number of attacks have been reported along Busia Road, Nehru Road, Awuor Otiende Road, and Ojijo Oteko Road.
Kisumu Town Location Senior Chief Willis Onyona said the acts of insecurity that continue to spread fear in the area will not be tolerated.
Onyona asked the boda boda operators leadership to identify and name those involved in crime, warning that security agencies were on high alert and will not relent until those involved in the acts were apprehended.
“What started as spontaneous attacks at night has now snowballed into a big security threat, with some of the cases happening in broad daylight. There is no doubt that those involved are trying to test us,” he said.
Addressing a public baraza in the area, Onyona said the government was considering banning night boda boda operations in the estate following the escalation of cases after 5:00 p.m.
Some of the operators, he added, lacked driving licenses and identification cards, explaining why they abandoned their bikes whenever pursued by security officers.
“You know these people because you carry them. You have only one option, and that is to name them so that they are arrested and prosecuted to restore security in this area,” he said.
Security officers, he added, have been given instructions to deal firmly with any boda boda operator or any other person using the mode of transport to terrorise area residents.
The chief further cautioned them against engaging in alcohol and drugs, adding that the menace was linked to rising insecurity and accidents.
Any boda boda found carrying passengers while under the influence of alcohol, he said, shall be arrested and charged.
He asked them to be wary of the luggage they carry for customers so as not to be used as conduits for transporting illicit alcohol and bhang.
“If somebody gives you parcels to carry, make sure that you have been briefed about the contents. If we arrest you for transporting illicit brew or drugs, we shall hold you accountable,” he said.
By Chris Mahandara