President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered a crackdown on all bodabodas starting Tuesday in Nairobi and other areas.
The head of state was reacting to a viral video in which a female motorist was sexually harassed along Wangari Maathai Road in Nairobi on Friday, last week.
According to the president, the video was “disheartening” to see. He ordered that all bodabodas be registered afresh.
He was speaking at the Kenya School of Government in Lower Kabete where he was the chief guest at this year’s International Women’s Day national celebrations.
“Yesterday, I did give instructions that I have ordered a crackdown on all boda boda operators, starting here in Nairobi and moving across the country,” he said.
“We are going to reregister you all again and we must make sure that we safeguard women. I have instructed the law enforcement officers to use the instruments within the law to punish these perpetrators,” added the head of state.
Similarly, the President advised politicians against using the crackdown as a campaign tool during political rallies, stressing that the government will help the operators if they reform.
“We are in the silly season of politics and there are some out there who will go and start saying the government is harassing small traders and business people… We want to help your business prosper but you must also do your bit,” stated Uhuru.
While addressing members of the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA) earlier today, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said the crackdown would be “painful”.
“The operation will be painful. We are prepared for that pain. The Inspector-General of Police has begun re-vetting all these operators. That is why he has collected 239 of them already. Those with criminal records will be handed to the law. Please understand and work with the law,” said the Interior CS.
His Transport counterpart James Macharia said the behaviour would no longer be tolerated.
“What happened last Friday is not acceptable by any standards. These people were behaving like beasts… like they are not human at all. We reiterate that time has come and we shall make sure that before long, this madness has come to an end,” said CS Macharia.
“When I watched that video, I said this could be my 26-year-old daughter, sister or someone’s mother.”