KISORO – Just a day after a group of boda boda riders dragged government to court for stopping them from carrying passengers as one of the measures to control the spread of Coronavirus, Kisoro United Bodaboda Operators (KUBO) leadership has asked government to allow them work with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Mr. Kalangala Robert, the KUBO Chairperson said that bodaboda riders are now jobless in their homes and called on all stakeholders to intervene and convince the president to allow them back to work.
Boda boda business has supported most youths with jobs, according to Kalangala, and continued blockage is a disaster to them. He regrets that most leaders who know their plight have not appealed to government to lift the ban.
“You can’t implement social distancing in a car with four people and it fails on a motorcycle with one passenger, yet in open air and a helmet.” Noted Kalangala.
Batamukoraho Baker, the KUBO general secretary says that their members are crying foul as some families are ravaged with domestic conflicts emanating from financial issues. He said that bodaboda has employed a number of youth who would be on the street a reason the government should not leave them behind.
“Where can you put these youths employed by the boda boda business if you have decided to put them out of work. Some will be robbers, murderers and drug addicts. Let us get back to work” said Baamukoraho.
“How can you tell us that social distancing is possible in taxis or buses that carry many passengers, but not with a motorcycle carrying just one person? He wondered.
Batamukoraho says they should be allowed to work, with restrictions of using facemasks, helmets, sanitizers, and strictly one passenger.
On Monday, riders under the National Federation of Professional Cyclists Network (NFPC) filed a case before the civil division of the High Court in Kampala challenging the continued ban on transporting passengers by boda bodas.
“Government’s restrictions on the boda boda transport business not acceptable or demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society and therefore an infringement and threat to the concerned people’s economic right to carry out their lawful occupation, trade or business,” the boda boda riders say.
The riders say that restrictions on the boda boda business while allowing others to run are unfair and not justifiable in a free and democratic society.
The boda boda riders want court to declare as illegal, and unacceptable government’s continued ban on carrying passengers.
“Court should declare that the refusal by government of Uganda to allow people engaged in the boda boda transport business to carry passengers is not acceptable or demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society and therefore an infringement and threat to the right to life and the right to food,” the boda boda riders say.
“Court should issue an order directing the government of Uganda to immediately allow people engaged in the boda boda transport business carry passengers and cargo.”
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