Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has directed police to release all motorcycles impounded during a recent crackdown on Boda Boda riders across the country.
Speaking during a national convention for Boda Boda reforms held at the Kenya School of Government, Matiang’i said all the bikes should be released by the end of the day.
The CS directed the Secretary for Internal Security to share the register of Boda Boda operators with county, deputy county and regional commissioners to expedite the release of the seized motorcycles.
Matiang’i issued the directive after a complaint from Kevin Mubadi, the President of the Boda Boda Association of Kenya (BAT), who decried frustrations from officers holding the bikes.
“Tell the commissioners that we want to work with these people. From this day forward, when I arrive in a county security meeting, we want to be given security updates from the Boda Boda chairpersons. We will allow them to ask questions, and we will give answers,” said the CS.
Mubadi had told the delegates that his riders were required to present their original identification cards (IDs) and logbooks to access their bikes. He, however, noted that even with the documents some police stations were frustrating the operators.
When he took to the podium, Matiang’i reiterated that the government is committed to transforming the sector amid a surge in cases of hooliganism associated with the sector.
He told the riders to take government interventions positively and help bring sanity to the sector.
“Which government will play games with 2.5 million of its citizens who contribute billions to the economy? I want to reform the boda boda sector just as the late John Michuki did to the matatu sector, and we are entering a lifelong covenant today with you,” he said.
A total of 290 riders representing riders in each of the country’s constituencies attended the function.
Thousands of motorcycles were seized across the country early this month following an incident where a female motorist was assaulted by riders along Wangari Maathai road, formerly known as Forest Road.
Most of the arrested riders were arraigned in court. They had to part with at least Ksh35,000 in fines to regain their freedom.
The crackdown was halted to create room for deliberations and reorganisation of the sector.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed that all Boda Boda operators across the country re-register afresh with compliance with Nationa Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) requirements.