Opinion: Boda Boda Free Zone to implemented in November [another failed launch by a government agency]

On 25th July 2020, State Minister of Kampala Betty Amongi launched the Boda Boda Free Zone in Central Business District of Kampala, which was legislation and decision made by the Cabinet. Which was to be implemented within reach of 2 days on the 27th July 2020. We are now on the 29th July 2020 and Minister of Works and Transport Gen. Katumba Wamala announced that the Free Zone will be implemented instead on the 1st November 2020.

What we are seeing is a reappearing act of the government. They implement new legislation and new policies, but have not thought through the implications of it and how to actually do it. This happen a few years ago with SIM-CARD registration. When that happen it was postponements and changes over a long time, before it evidently was able to do it. Also, getting all the ducks in a row and secure the process, which was not possible when announced.

The same might be felt now. That Kampala Capital City Authority, the Ministry of Kampala and Ministry of Works and Transport wasn’t prepared for the ramifications. That it would cause issues in the CBD. That the drivers are stopped and not allowed entering. That there was no clear guidelines for the certified package delivery boda boda companies. These should be able to pass, also if it is not a passenger service, but a personal motorcycle, should they be able to pass into the free zone?

The gazetted areas of boda boda stages. We can wonder, if the owners, stakeholders, drivers and the public really knows about these places too. Or if they are put on random and suddenly need to move around differently all across the city. Just like the Free Zone, the Boda Boda and all associates should have time to move and know the new regulation. Not just over night change, because the cabinet said so.

If you wonder why Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago struggles to reign in the capital. He has the Cabinet ordering and micro-managing without his input or no knowledge of connection to his team. The elected representatives should feel baffled, that suddenly the City changes without votes or outreach. Later, they will throw blame at his administration, even if all decisions was made from the Cabinet and Ministries, while not even consulting the elected leadership. Except they maybe do something with KCCA as they were involved in the launch on Saturday.

We are now on Wednesday and the implementation has been postponed. Maybe now the causes and effects can be scoped in. The costs and the ability for both commuters, boda boda’s and Taxis can be put into play. Also, the possible stages and need U-Turns for the boda boda’s needs to be considered. Especially close to the zone. If not they will cause more traffic chaos, as commuters have to switch to either walk, taxis or bicycles. This has to be considered, as in rush-hours the boda boda’s are a gift to dip through traffic. In the CBD it will not be possible from November. That is why the state has to secure a safe passage and safety for everyone involved.

When you push out policies to quick without considerations or checking effects. Than you get work like this. They are pursuing changes, which will change the traffic flow and where people can cross the city. However, that is done quickly and now the state backtracks. Maybe, they should have a sit-down with stakeholders, ensure the passage and policy actually working. Instead, it has backfired and that is why MoWT had to postpone the Free Zone.

It proves again, that the minds in-charge are sometimes reckless. Not thinking about consequences and just pushing through. Alas, that is not how life is and therefore, they have to retract and secure afterwards instead. Peace.

Opinion: The Boda Boda Free Zone – Will not decongest the CBD of Kampala

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) announced yesterday, their new regulations on the Boda Boda Industry, the motorcycle taxis transport, which are an integrated part of traffic and transport of the capital. Especially, in a congested and jam infested capital like Kampala. There is no luck to dip through traffic in a ordinary sedan or an SUV in the midst of rush hour. You need to be quick and either jump from a taxi onto a boda boda, if you want to dip through quickly.

This is common knowledge. When you have a private car and passing through jams. It isn’t the boda’s that create its. Its the lack of enough lanes, enough incentive for people to use collective transports and the lack options, also decongest the roads. It is not like you switch to decent roads, accept for the main roads or the feeder roads. The area around the Central Business District is packed. The roads out in all directions get filled quickly and at some point of the day. Your going to get stuck.

If the Boda Boda Free Zone get activated. There will be underlying issues. As the boda’s themselves has to avoid these districts. The passengers can only be transported to the edge and need to take a second option to get to work. They will switch from boda’s to Taxis or Specials. That will be costly to pay to fees for the same range. The shillings will go up for each employee within the CBD.

The ones who already drives cars to work will not feel this. They will be unaffected. The Boda’s are maybe out of the CBD. However, the same delivery cars, the same heavy cars, the convoys of VIPs and personal cars will pass. The Taxis will be in and around the area. They will go to stages and to the Taxi Parks. To think otherwise is naive.

The only ones hurt by this is the boda boda drivers and the passengers. Who has less options to dip through traffic and get quicker out of the CBD in jams. That option will be gone, because you have to get out those before switching transports. And inside a taxi in the middle of a jam. You are sort of stuck until you hit a stage. That might take some time and you could read a chapter in book before reaching there.

The idea are made with its best of intentions. However, the effects and the possible trouble it causes. The time consuming for the ones using it. Has that come into the equation or is that just mere bystander to the issue?

There is no cause without an effect. There is no action without a reaction. Also, a regulation like this will hurt some segments of the public. It will not only be hard for the policing and stop the drivers from passing. Has the KCCA thought of giving alternative routes and roads to pass to the boda boda’s?

In the statement, there is nothing like that and the operators. Have they gotten the proper guidelines and understanding of it? What is the cost, if they by mere unluck are going into the free zone? Will they be impounded and the passenger be detained too? What is the sort of fine or obstacle?

There is only a blockage and guideline. However, how will it be enforced and who will do the bidding for it?

What will the state earn on closing the CBD for boda boda’s and not having the ability to dip through traffic and jams from there. You have to get to outer stages to be able. That is really hectic. However, that is the will of KCCA and the citizens just have to abide.

Good Monday, the ones whose used to dip through traffic in jams after work on boda boda’s, better be prepared. They will not be able and they got to find other means. Also, bring a book. The jam is going to be there, but not the means criss-cross it and pass through on two wheels. Peace.