The Government has officially launched the registration of boda boda operators and the subsequent issuance of Smart Driving Licenses to qualified riders in all the 52 Huduma Centres across the country in an effort to restore sanity to the sector.
In Bungoma, the exercise was officiated by PS for the Ministry of Culture and Heritage Josephta Mukobe, accompanied by Deputy Head of the Public Service, Mr Wanyama Musyambo and hosted by Bungoma County Commissioner Samwel Kimiti.
Speaking during the launch, Musyambo said the move by the registration was meant not only to regulate and streamline the important sector but also to enhance safety for the riders and other road users.
He urged the riders to register in time because the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) will provide a 12-month health cover to the first 200,000 licensed boda boda riders.
Wanyama pointed out that to be registered, one needs to present himself in person with the original National Identification Card, a copy of the KRA PIN number and the rider’s phone number.
“I urge all the boda boda operators to come out in large numbers to register because it is for their own benefit,” he said, adding that the bodaboda business is not illegal.
According to the area County commissioner Mr Samwel Kimiti, Bungoma has at least 60,000 bodaboda operators who are being targeted for registration within the 60 day timeline that has been set.
At least 1,300 operators have already registered in Bungoma with Ms Mukobe saying the move will reintroduce orderliness in the sector and flush out rogue riders.
She said the move will also see a reduction in accidents that occur due to the riders’ ignorance of traffic rules.
She advised the boda boda operators to register with SACCOs after obtaining the smart driving licenses to make it easy to identify and follow up in case any rider commits a crime.
Kimiti, urged the boda boda operators to coexist peacefully with police and make sure that they comply with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) on road safety measures.
“When we abide by the rules and guidelines, we won’t have issues with the police. There will be peace and good relationship with the Security officers, said Kimiti.
Kimiti urged the bodaboda operators to be the ambassadors of peace in the county before, during and after elections owing to the nature of their work.
He warned that those who break the law under the guise of politics will be dealt with ruthlessly.
By Dishon Amanya and Roseland Lumwamu