By Mariam Namakula
Masaka Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Fred Bamwine, has banned all boda bodas stages during the 42 days of total lockdown.
According to Bamwine, the continued violation of the COVID-19 presidential directives by the bodabodas riders in Masaka has played a very vital role in the rapid spread of the deadly disease – COVID-19, in the district.
Speaking to the District Focus on Wednesday 23 June, Fred Bamwine revealed that amidst the ban on public transport, boda boda riders had been allowed to operate provided they only transported goods, a thing they have continuously violated
“It’s been nearly a week since the president allowed all the boda boda riders to only carry goods but they have disobeyed the directives and continued to carry passengers,” he said, adding that as district leaders they had turned a deaf ear thinking that boda bodas riders would respect the presidential directives and act responsibly but all in vain
“Bodabodas riders are not willing to abide by the Presidential directives and the standard operating procedures which may lead to the easy spread of COVID- 19 in the district,” Bamwine stressed.
He therefore ordered that boda boda riders to wait for only phone calls if they were to carry any goods but not to gather anywhere.
On Friday 18 June, the president allowed bodabodas to continue operating, carrying only goods and patients provided they followed the standard operating procedures.
The RCC’s directive however did not please the boda boda riders in the district who noted that this was unfair. They say it was always easier for customers to access them at their different stages and therefore most of them risked losing business as they reside in remote areas.
“I can’t travel from where l live only to transport a luggage of one thousand shillings,” one of the riders said.
Bamwine had ordered retail shops to also close.
This however didn’t rhyme well with the presidential directives. In his address recently, the president said retail shops would continue operating.