The Uasin Gishu County Women Representative, Gladys Boss Shollei has described the high number of youth operating boda bodas without driving licenses as a national crisis.
“The number of boda boda riders already on the road, operating without valid driving license is a crisis in society hence the need for the government to urgently address this worrying trend,” said Shollei.
She attributed the trend of lack of licenses by operators to the high cost of acquiring the document.
Having no valid driving license means the operators will not get an insurance meaning the riders and their passengers will not get any compensation in case of an accident.
Shollei petitioned the government through the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to look into ways and means of subsidizing the costs for driving and other requirements for the operators in the transport sector.
There is also need for NTSA to work closely with owners of driving schools on how boda boda riders could be encouraged to enroll for driving lessons and acquire licenses at an affordable rate.
“Charging a boda boda operator Sh.9, 000 for a license is a tall order since most of them rely on the same business to feed their families,” she observed.
The women rep said the sector has created job opportunities for hundreds of youths in the country and that it was prudent for the government to support it.
“The high cost of acquiring a license for boda boda riders is beyond the reach of majority and that is why most of them are operating without the document,” she said.
Speaking at Ainabkoi sub county office where she donated a Sh.1 million in cheques to Ainabkakao boda boda Sacco members, Shollei said she would set aside funds in the national government affirmative action fund, NGAAF for purchase of tracking devices to be fitted on motor cycles purchased for the SACCO through the kitty.
Shollei said that she has taken the initiative following increased cases of motor cycle theft and attacks that have led to death of several riders in the region.
She said that a big number of motor bikes stolen from the area in the recent past have not been recovered since they have no tracking devices.
She challenged motor cyclists to be affiliated to savings and credit cooperatives if they expect to benefit immensely from various county and national government programmes.
“Only motor cyclists who are in registered savings and credit cooperative society groups will benefit from the initiative,” said Shollei.
According to the chairman of the boda boda riders Sacco, Ibrahim Murgor, they were finding it hard to operate their business due to frequent harassment from the police and county enforcement officers over lack of driving licenses.
By Kiptanui Cherono