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.

Uganda: UPDF and Guardian Primary School Authorities Standoff (13.02.2018)

UPDF: “Allegations by Lt. John Harrison Obote” (18.01.2018)

UPDF: Military Police has not taken over Police Powers and Resources (21.06.2017)

Burundi: “Imminent retrait et retour Immediat au Burundi des hommes et du materiel militaire de la Somalia”

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African Union letter on the Burundian posistion from December 2016:

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UPDF: Appointments, Transfers and Promotions in the UPDF (10.01.2017)

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Uganda Chief of Defence Forces urges speedy security sector reforms in Somalia (02.01.2017)

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MOGADISHU, 02 JANUARY 2017 – Visiting Chief of Defence Forces of Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), General Edward Katumba Wamala wants Somali leaders to fast-track implementation of security sector reforms and the rebuilding of the national army, to enable them effectively take over the country’s security from African Union troops.

The Uganda Chief of Defence Forces arrived in Mogadishu today for a three-day official visit to Somalia. “As you interact politically with whoever will take the chair, this should be among their priority area; to make sure that they address the issue of building their security apparatus,” he told a meeting of senior officials from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The Somali security sector reforms which are in line with AMISOM’s revised Concept of Operations (CONOPs) and its exit strategy, are aimed at building the capacity of Somali National Security Forces to take over the security of the country, when AMISOM troops begin drawing down in 2018.

Gen. Wamala praised the implementation of the quick-impact projects (QUIPs) by AMISOM, describing it is a big asset for the mission in its efforts to provide essential services to populations liberated from Al-Shabaab rule.

During the meeting, Hon. Lydia Wanyoto, the Deputy Special Representative of the of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) updated Gen. Wamala on the ongoing electoral process in the country and the security arrangements in place to ensure a smooth transition of power. “We are doing everything it takes to ensure that we give the support and that our offices are open 24/7 for supporting the troops for which your country contributes,” Hon. Wanyoto stated.

Earlier, military officers from AMISOM Sector One, briefed Gen. Wamala on the security situation in Lower Shabelle and Banaadir regions, which fall under the AMISOM Ugandan contingent’s area of responsibility . Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh, the AMISOM Force Commander said AMISOM troops continue to jointly conduct offensive and defensive operations aimed at improving the security situation in Somalia.

“The security situation in Mogadishu city has improved significantly, the city being a strategic value for the seat of power, with a high population density, good infrastructure and good for political and economic activities. Therefore the center of gravity plays an important role for the stabilisation of Somalia,” Lt. Gen. Soubagleh said. Gen. Wamala also held a meeting with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Somalia, Michael Keating.