By JOREEN NABUTTO
Government on Monday suspended the enforcement of boda boda free zones in the city even after police had started impounding motorcycles that had breached the Cabinet directive.
The Minister for Kampala, Ms Betty Amongi, at the weekend issued a directive banning commercial cyclists from accessing the city centre and surrounding places.
However, police announced that the exercise had been suspended following a new directive from the Ministry of Works and Transport.
“This morning, we had started operating the free zones. But upon guidance from the Ministry of Works and Transport, the operation on the implementation of the boda boda free zones has been suspended to allow creation of outer stages out of the gazetted zones and signage,” Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, told journalists in Kampala yesterday .
“Some boda boda riders, including passengers were not being guided. So a roadmap clearly outlining the process will be released for our implementation. We call upon those in the boda boda industry to continue with their operations pending new developments. They should observe the SoPs (standard operating procedures) and should also work within the timing of the curfew and avoid carrying more than one passenger,” Mr Enanga added.
He said security forces had already impounded about 927 motorcycles since Saturday for violating the free zones but said they will release the culprits and their motorbikes pending further guidance on when the enforcement will resume.
Mr Daniel Nuweabine, the acting KCCA manager of communications and corporate affairs, said enforcement of the free zones will start on August 31.
He said this will give KCCA time to gazette all the stages outside the city centre and put signages in places that are declared free zones.
KCCA’s enforcement date
“We said the enforcement will start on August 31. So there was no need to start enforcement today. Maybe the security forces were enforcing the national directive, not the one issued by KCCA,” Mr Nuweabine said.
He added that they had communicated the same to the other government ministries, departments and agencies.
When President Museveni last week announced resumption of boda business, he said the ministry would issue the SOPs to guide their activities.
On Monday last week, Cabinet approved the new boda boda guidelines for resumption of passenger transportation.
Streamlining of boda boda operations in the city have been marred with confusion over the years.
When KCCA started registration of boda boda cyclists in 2013, the authority had constant interference from police.
Police constantly blocked enforcement to get rid of those who were not registered and gazetting of boda stages.