Special Reports

Besigye Blasts Musisi, Museveni As Boda Crisis Deepens

mind http://dcdal.org/plugins/system/jat3/core/parameter.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>“The boda boda phenomenon is a result of fundamental planning and policy failure of the 28-year NRM regime. First, cialis 40mg it’s a result of failure in urban planning, which resulted in congested narrow roads; with many areas completely inaccessible by motor vehicles,” said Besigye in a letter to the media on Thursday.

“There is also no plan for a mass urban transportation system. Boda bodas became the practical way to negotiate through the endless traffic jams or to reach inaccessible places,” he added.

Besigye’s remarks come at a time of heated debate and clashes between KCAA officials and Police chiefs over whether boda boda riders should be registered.

Tumwebaze and Musisi claim the registration will help in proper management of boda boda operators and also facilitate the weeding out of wrong elements that had infiltrated the industry.

The move was vehemently opposed by the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, saying the boda boda leadership was not involved in the exercise which would result in registering criminals.

Kayihura further argued that boda bodas operators needed to be sensitized about the benefits of the registration exercise.

However, KCCA officials early this week attempted to forcefully register boda cyclists, sparking off chaos in the city.

Besigye seems to agree with Kayihura, at least for the first time.

Presidency Minister, Frank Tumwebaze

The opposition strongman expressed shock that the executive director, Ms Jennifer Musisi had used the social media to describe the protesting cyclists as “criminals, rioters, hooligans, etc., who should be got rid of once and for all.”

Besigye further said the unprecedented stealing of public funds and wrong government priorities has meant a gross under-investment in public goods and services.

“The obvious results of this are the enormous number of youth without skills needed in the market (and attendant massive unemployment); the collapse of agriculture and producer cooperatives on which most Ugandans depended; the collapse of the social services; and collapse of social and physical infrastructure thereby undermining the economy,” said Besigye.

“It’s the unjust policies, coupled with massive theft of public funds that has marginalised the majority of Ugandans, especially the youth. Many boda boda drivers have diplomas and university degrees, yet they ride boda bodas owned by businessmen and some corrupt government officials! Most boda boda riders are reasonable people, with families and aspiring to have a good life like KCCA’s Musisi enjoys. Unlike Ms Musisi, they didn’t have the opportunity to get lucrative appointments to the Uganda Revenue Authority and KCCA.”

Gen Kale Kayihura

Bodas not fun

The former presidential candidate said riding a boda boda is not fun.

“They are permanently harassed by the police, who share into whatever little they earn. They pay a lot of taxes compared with other “businesses” and they have to pay the owners of the bikes. They are victims of rampant robberies and murders, many of which have gone unresolved due to police weaknesses. Due to the bad roads, coupled with the hustle to earn money for all the above demands, they are likely to get involved in nasty road traffic accidents. I have no doubt that working under such conditions for long must have a toll on their physical, mental and emotional state,” said Besigye.

Besigye further observed that the registration exercise “decreed” by the KCCA Executive Director, showed a disconnection between KCCA authorities and the boda bodas.

“In a democracy, policy-making should be inclusive. The people for whom policies are made need to understand them. Unfortunately, we now have a KCCA governed by the decrees of its executive director and the Minister for the Presidency. The people or their representatives are not involved at all; in fact, they are held in utmost contempt. KCCA did not attempt to engage the stakeholders in the process of formulating the registration policy,” he added.

Besigye said the militancy of Musisi has been directly encouraged and supported by Mr Museveni, the appointing authority.


“As such, she seems to have developed a tyrannical attitude in the conduct of her duties. I get the sense that Musisi is very hard-working and may have been an effective executive if she did not use administrative fiat in pursuing oppressive directions of the NRM regime.

The objective of Mr Museveni is to use KCCA to remove what they term as “unemployed hooligans” from the city. This, especially, became an urgent preoccupation since the 2009 and 2011 protests. Museveni is terrified by the prospect of massive protests, like those that removed his fellow tyrants from power in many parts of the world.”

Besigye added: “Ms Musisi and her lieutenants ruthlessly evicted hawkers, business kiosks (that had been permitted by KCC) and various petty traders. When the sale of markets to regime protégés was successfully resisted, we have seen endless market fires that are clearly the work of arsonists. Many market traders have indeed been forced out of business. Boda-bodas have been variously tackled but so far, they’ve been fighting off the assault by the regime.”

KCCA boss, Jennifer Musisi

“Having an orderly and clean city is obviously desired by all city residents and all Ugandans. However, in achieving this, KCCA and Museveni must be cognisant of the causes for the deplorable state in which Kampala and other urban centres find themselves. It’s necessary to tackle and resolve the causes, rather than attacking the symptoms. At any rate, it is necessary to proceed in a humane manner; recognising that the many people caught in the mess are innocent struggling citizens eager to have a good future. Ruthlessly pushing people out of Kampala and other urban centres, without offering them viable alternatives, can cause a regrettable explosion.”

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