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Kitgum Boda Boda Riders Fed up With Exploitative Politicians

The Kitgum District Active Boda Boda Association’s Chairperson, Simon Pido condemned the continued neglect by political leaders who seems to want them during campaign periods, only to abandon them after assuming political office or when they get problems.
Bodaboda operators receive a donation of reflector jackets from the Kigum Municpality MP Beatrice Atim Anywar in 2018 Photo By Dan M. Komakech

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Passenger motorcycle operators popularly known as boda bodas in Kitgum district have resolved not to accept being exploited and misused by politicians for personal gains during the 2021 election campaigns.  

The Kitgum Municipality Boda Boda Association Chairperson Simon Oyet says all members of the group are under strict instructions to resist being lured by political aspirants for mobilization purposes without reaching their offices for consent.    

According to Oyet, during political campaign periods, aspirants hire them and use them as pawns to advance their own selfish needs under pretext of mobilizing voters for their political gains and patronage.   Oyet says political aspirants can even offer them fuel worth a mere 2000 shillings and subject them to travel lengthy distances which is often time wasting and compromises their cardinal purpose of making money.      Luo audio

//Cue in: “wan pe watye…..   Cue out: ….apar nongo ber”//

  The Kitgum District Active Boda Boda Association’s Chairperson, Simon Pido equally condemned the continued neglect by political leaders who only want them during campaign periods only to abandon them after assuming political office or during times when they are faced with problems.   

According to Pido, during campaign periods, political aspirants commit to various pledges in support to their association, ranging from promising enormous government programs; enhancing their saving schemes and supporting their children’s education, only to fail to fulfill their pledges once they assume office.  

Pido cites a pledge allegedly made by President Yoweri Museveni while gracing the 38th Tarehe Sita celebrations in 2019 where he allegedly promised to offer 50 million shillings to boda boda operators in  each of the eight districts in Acholi Sub Region, put the pledge has not been fulfilled.    

Luo audio //Cue in: “kombedi teke…..   Cue out: ….kwo marac”//

  David Acelllam a member of the Civil Society Working Group in Kitgum describes this mobilization strategy as voter bribery and electoral corruption since the politicians use it in return for votes.

  He stresses the need to enhance voter education on civic knowledge during election period to enable voters actively hold leaders accountable and engage them to address social issues that impact on the welfare of communities other than voter bribery.

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