Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochola has directed police commanders operating in areas where SafeBoda riders do business to ensure that they are protected.
According to the IGP, he made the directive following reports that regular boda boda riders were planning attacks on the digital motorcycle taxi riders.
Ochola made the revelation while responding to a tweet in which a student at Makerere University witnessed a brutal attack on a SafeBoda rider by his counterparts who ride ordinary motorcycle taxis.
According to the account of the incident, before attacking the SafeBoda rider, one of the attackers shouted that they were “tired” of seeing them (SafeBoda) riders in the city. One of the pictures from the tweet shows the helmet of the rider that was broken during the scuffle and others show the (SafeBoda) rider struggling with his counterpart while others look on.
Today morning i witnessed how cruel and heartless Ugandans can be due to jealousy and envy. STORY: So as go to buy Airtime at this kiosk, i meet this Safeboda guy also buying airtime as he prepares for the new day. So i help him load it anticipating to set of to Muk with him… pic.twitter.com/TqMBt0XFQh
— Kanye Waste 🚮☢ (@Ixaac_skrrrKyle) September 5, 2018
After learning about the incident, SafeBoda revealed on Twitter that it had informed the police about the matter and they were following up with the case. Another tweep targed the IGP in a comment, calling for protection of SafeBoda riders.
Hello, we have informed the police about the on going matter and we are following up on all reported cases.
— SafeBoda (@SafeBoda) September 5, 2018
“You are right,” Ochola tweeted. “I have directed my commanders on the ground to provide total security to safeboda riders. I did this after getting information that these other boda boda riders are planning to attack them.”
You are right. I have directed my commanders on the ground to provide total security to safeboda riders. I did this after getting information that these other boda boda riders are planning to attack them.
— JM Okoth Ochola (@OkothOchola1) September 6, 2018
There have been a series of reports about attacks on digital motorcycle taxi riders from their ordinary counterparts. The latter say the former are taking most of the jobs, thus they are no longer working like they used to. It is said that these fights are being fueled by leaders of ordinary boda boda associations. Once a rider joins the digital transport sector, they normally leave these associations.
Some of the boda boda riders have adamantly refused to join the digital system while others are too illiterate to use smartphones and some don’t want to buy driving permits.
Apart from SafeBoda, Taxify riders have also been attacked, according to some reports on Twitter.
— Moses Rudende (@rudende) September 6, 2018