The management of Kisumu City has suspended boda boda operations in the leafy Milimani estate citing rising cases of insecurity.
In a notice signed by Acting City Manager Abala Wanga, any boda boda found operating in the estate will be apprehended and charged.
All boda boda sheds within the estate, he said, were now considered illegal and action shall be taken against any person found operating there.
Any boda boda wishing to offer services in the estate, he said, must make prior arrangements with their clients to avoid being in conflict with the law.
This, he said, will only see them pick or drop passengers and luggage as per their clients’ requirements without making any unnecessary stops.
The move, he added, was informed by the rising number of robberies with violence cases where thugs posing as boda boda operators terrorize residents stealing valuables from them.
He pointed out a recent case where a lady and her son were mugged while strolling at around 8:45 pm.
He said the ban was meant to enhance security in the lakeside city adding that similar initiatives shall be undertaken in Tom Mboya estate where residents have complained of being attacked by criminals posing as boda boda operators.
Wanga challenged the operators to shift to online services through which clients could request their services.
This, he added, will flush out criminals who have invaded the sector and were to blame for the wave of insecurity in the area.
The move has however been criticized by the operators who claimed that the city management was insensitive to their plight.
Kisumu Boda Boda Association Chairman Jacob Ogambo accused Wanga of high handedness saying all his directives were being issued without proper public participation.
In an interview with KNA, Ogambo said whereas some of the issues raised were valid, the city lacked proper plans to manage the sector.
“Our members have taken loans which they are struggling to service yet they are now being blocked from offering services in certain areas,” he said.
Most of the operators, he added, lacked smart phones and could therefore not switch to online platforms as being suggested.
He challenged the county government to organize a stakeholder engagement to come up with long lasting solutions on issues facing the sector.
By Chris Mahandara