Boda boda operators call for meeting with County officials

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Lugari OCPD Mr Bernard Macharia addressing the boda boda group
Lugari OCPD Mr Bernard Macharia addressing the boda boda group

Lugari boda boda operators have called for a meeting with Kakamega and Uasin Gishu County officials. Boda boda riders in Lugari Sub County, operating in Turbo trading centre and its adjacent villages want top county leaders to convene an inter-boundary meeting to seek an amicable solution to regular conflicts pitting them with counterparts in Uasin Gishu County.

The boda boda operators made the demand at Lumakanda playground during a meeting with representatives of both national and county governments in Lugari Sub County.

Prior to the meeting, the operators had staged a peaceful demonstration along the Eldoret-Malaba highway, between Turbo market and Lumakanda junction.

While presenting their grievances before the local administration and security team, led by Lugari acting Deputy County Commissioner, Mr Reuben Kimosop and Sub County Administrator, Mr Job Luvonga, the group alleged it was protesting against constant harassment and discrimination by their counterparts and officials in neighbouring
Uasin Gishu County.

Amani Boda Boda Group Turbo Chairperson, Mr Issa Watita said the protest was sparked off after Uasin Gishu County government revenue officers arrested three officials and confiscated over 20 motorbikes belonging to boda boda operators in Lugari Sub County on Monday morning.

“The officers arrived with county government lorries at Turbo boda boda terminus where they ruthlessly and discriminatively impounded more than 20 motorbikes belonging to our colleagues,” claimed Watita, adding the officers took the action under the pretext of failure by the boda bodas to pay parking taxes.

Watita further alleged revenue officers from the neighbouring county were overcharging boda boda riders from Lugari Sub County.

“We are forced to pay Shs.300 daily as parking fee tax in sharp contrast to Kshs. 30 that our colleagues in Turbo Sub County pay,” explained Watita.

Reliable sources to West Media confirmed the arrested officials and motorcycles were taken to Eldoret town, the headquarters of Uasin Gishu County.

Addressing the irked group, both Kimosop and Luvonga called for calm.

“We have heard your grievances and will act on the same promptly,” said Kimosop, who hailed the group for demonstrating peacefully.

The DCC and his Sub County partner promised to schedule a trans-boundary meeting which would bring together top national and county officials from both counties.

The leaders’ sentiments were echoed by Lugari ward Member of County Assembly (MCA), Musa Wangila Makhapila who urged Kakamega and Uasin Gishu Governors, Wycliffe Oparanya and Jackson Mandago to attend the meeting when it will be called.

“As appointed and elected leaders we are obliged to do the much we can in order to avoid letting our people engage and suffer from inter-boundary conflicts,” remarked Makhapila.

The meeting was attended by Lugari Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD), Mr Bernard Macharia, Adiministration Police Officer (APC), Agnes Mwalua and Criminal Investigation Officer (SCCIO), Bakari Ndzovu.

The boda boda issue at Turbo trading centre has hit news headlines recently, with several reported incidents of death of operators as well as violent robberies of motorbikes