Boda-Boda cyclists have accused police of defying President Yoweri
Museveni’s directive to have their impounded motorcycles released.
Addressing the nation on Wednesday night, Museveni directed that
all motorcycles that have been flouting Covid19 guidelines be released
Several Boda-boda riders who spoke to Uganda Radio Network said police officers
have continued to demand money despite Museveni’s directive.
Aramathan Musoke said many of them are riding motorcycles bought on credit.
This, according to Musoke, forces them to ride past curfew hours in an attempt
to make money.
“You must work hard to get money for clearing the loan and also
have some to cater for your family. But when police officers impound, they want
the money that is not less than 50,000 shillings. Even when the president has
directed, they still demand money from us,” Musoke said.
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Geoffrey Arinaitwe, said they are forced to abandon motorcycles at police
stations because police officers want money that they do not even make in a
week. Arinaitwe said sometimes they ride motorcycles on loans and that means
they do not possess ownership documents.
“Getting your motorcycle back depends on the mood in which you find a
policeman. Some may demand 200,000 shillings and another may ask you to pay
100,000 shillings. You can never get back your motorcycle without paying
money,” Arinaitwe said.
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Fred Ssekyanzi said the problem currently facing them is the curfew time.
Ssekyanzi says once your motorcycle is impounded, you must look for money not
less than 100,000 shillings.
“I wonder why they only target our motorcycles. Curfew also
catches drivers but they are not mistreated like us. We don’t have fixed salaries
like police officers but they don’t care,” Ssekyanzi said.
There are several motorcycles impounded and parked at various
police stations in Kampala many of the riders were found pleading with police
officers to implement Museveni’s directive by giving them their motorcycles but
However, deputy Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson, ASP Luke
Owoyesigyire, said police officers were implementing the presidential
directive. Owoyesigyire said all riders must go with proof of owners like a
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Sam Kayondo, asked the President to push curfew hours to 9 pm. This Kayondo
believes will enable them to make money to clear loans. Kayondo also accuses
police of impounding their motorcycles as early as 5:45 pm yet the curfew
starts at 6 pm.
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On average, police have been impounding 1,500 motorcycles every week on claims
of defying Covid19 orders. Police have been issuing express penalty schemes.
But Edward Ochom, the Director of Operation a fortnight ago warned police
commanders over extorting money from defaulters.
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.