Mbarara City Boda Boda Association has formed a special committee to help in the implementation of Ministry of Health Guidelines and Standard Operation Procedures.
In his address to the nation on Covid-19, President Yoweri Museveni warned Boda Boda riders against the violation of the guidelines or risk total lockdown. He warned Boda Boda riders against carrying two or more passengers and failing to wear a face mask.
The President also announced an inter-district lockdown and warned Boda Boda riders against ferrying people across district borders. He also directed that the riders stop operations at 6:00 pm.
Sergious Oukunda Salongo Chairperson Mbarara City Boda Boda Association, says that because the number of Boda Boda riders in the city, they have constituted a fifteen-man committee which also includes a police officer to arrest and take to police any Boda Boda rider who is found violating the guidelines.
Majid Ruganda, Chairperson Nyamitanga Divison Boda Boda Riders and spokesperson of the special committee says they are holding regular meetings with all stage Chairpersons and defence secretaries to see how best the guidelines can be implemented.
He says they are currently faced with a challenge of riders who are not registered around town stages but come in and stay to ride at night. Ruganda says they have managed to arrest 10 cyclists for violating the guidelines.
Ruganda says they are also faced with the challenge of porous routes being used by Boda Boda riders to move to other districts.
Brain Arinaitwe, a Boda Boda rider at Kateete Stage says they choose to tighten the guidelines by instituting fines for riders who do not adhere to the guidelines.
Oukunda says they have impounded 10 motorcycles for either carrying two passengers or carrying a passenger without a mask.
A vigilant team of Boda Boda cyclists has been formed to aid in the enforcement of COVID-19 standards of operation.
The tax force dubbed HAM COVID-19 TEAM will be expected to carry out sensitization among fellow motorists and also report colleagues who are not adhering to the SOPs.
Herbert Burora Anderson, the Deputy Resident City Commissioner Nakawa Division, says that they have noted that categories of people not complying with the Covid-19 prevention guidelines include motorcyclists, taxis and local brew (malwa) drinking points among others.
Paul Mugabe, the Mayor Nakawa Division says that since the cyclists interact with numerous people from different places each day, it is an effective way to ensure compliance.
Steven Gumo, speaker for the Boda Boda group in Nakawa division says that the team will enforce the regulations to avoid cyclists being arrested and their motorcycles impounded.
Fred Ndyanabo, a cyclist says that this move will help motorcyclists honour curfew time as directed by the President.
According to Gumo, each stage chairperson in the division will be requested to present two volunteers to be part of the team. These volunteers are expected to regularly report to the Resident City Commissioner’s office.
The volunteers as instructed during the launch today will go on with business as always only with a higher mandate to sensitize colleagues and inform on defaulters in observation of Covid-19 standards of operation.