Boda Boda riders protest exorbitant fees

By Libino Byamukama

A number of boda boda riders in Kisoro municipality  staged a peaceful protest against what they termed exorbitant charges by the Uganda Drivers Licensing System (UDLS) to access driving permits.

The angry boda boda riders accused Uganda Drivers Licensing System officials of charging them over 400,000 shillings for a driving permit, saying the money is too much. They allege that UDLS didn’t give them ample time to pay the required fees for the permits.

The group rode their motorcycles, hooding up, from Bunagana stage up to their plot of land in Chahi village, Kisoro municipality. They later returned and calmed down without the police’s intervention. They vowed to resume their protest if traffic cops began whipping unlicensed drivers.

Officials from the Uganda Drivers Licensing System (UDLS) declined to speak to our reporter about the accusations. They provided a chart, however, containing the rates for driving permits. On the chart, a new driving permit costs 330,000 shillings for five years.

In the same protest, the group also claimed that their leadership was not giving them clear accountability for their association body, the Kisoro United Boda Boda Association (KUBO).

They demanded an explanation and accountability for money that is said to have been spent on a hotel being constructed using their association’s savings.

Meanwhile, Kisoro United Boda Boda Operators chairperson Kalangala Robert, who had earlier promised to give a comment over the same matter, couldn’t be reached at the time we filed the story.