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Boda boda operators eye Covid-19 vaccine

Boda Boda (motorbike) operators have urged the government to prioritize them in the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination exercise.

This even as the operators’ association warned their members from sneaking pillion passengers in and out of the Covid-19 “disease infected” zone.

The Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya argues the government should classify them as essential service providers as a significant segment of Kenya’s population depend on their services.

The association’s chairman Kelvin Mubadi implored the government to classify bodaboda riders as essential service providers and prioritize them during the ongoing vaccination exercise.

He explained that bodabodas remains the go-to mode of transport in both rural and urban areas with a significant segment of Kenya’s population directly depending on the mode because of its dynamism.

With the Covid-19 third wave striking leading to a paralysis of the public transport sector, boda bodas have come in handy to fill the void created.

“As a result, we wish to request the government to take bodaboda riders as an essential service provider and prioritize them during this vaccination period,” said Mubadi.

The chairperson, nonetheless, condemned their members who are being used by residents of five counties where the cessation of movement order applies to contravene the directive by moving in and out of the zone.

He said the association is concerned that some riders are ferrying passengers across the restricted county borders by avoiding roadblocks and barrier checks by authorities.

“We in the strongest terms possible condemn such acts of impunity which undermine our government’s effort to contain the spread of this killer virus,” observed Mubadi.

He appealed to the bodaboda operators to adhere to the government’s directive warning of merciless consequences to those who break them.

“All riders across the country to adhere to the Government’s directive failure to which authorities should treat and deal with them mercilessly as per the law,” he said.

This past week, President Uhuru Kenyatta tightened restrictions in Nairobi and four surrounding hard-hit counties including Machakos, Kiambu, Nakuru, and Kajiado.

The restrictions included cessation of all movements into and out of the five counties.

Further, public gatherings and any face-to-face meetings were banned, evening curfew time brought forward to 8pm from 10pm and restaurants directed to only serve take aways while bars be closed.