Kenyan MPs to visit Thailand for boda boda benchmarking
Kenyan Members of Parliament (MPs) are planning to travel to Thailand for a benchmarking trip on how to combat the rising insecurity in the boda boda sector.
The trip is meant to help the MPs drawn from the National Assembly’s Security and Administration Committee to learn ways of bringing sanity in the industry that has employed thousands of Kenyans.
Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange, who is the chairman of the committee, said they settled on Thailand because the Southeast Asian nation has managed to effectively control the sector despite having more motorcycle taxis than Kenya.
“My committee is planning to travel to Thailand to also learn more, benchmark about boda boda because places like Thailand they have more motorbikes,” Koinange said.
He said plans are underway to roll out a program to address the rising road safety challenges caused by boda boda operators, with more than 1.6 million licenses issued to such operators since 2019.
A recent government report noted that the boda boda sector is being used by criminals to advance their activities.
“Like the matatu industry that at one time was infiltrated by lethal gangs like Mungiki, there is fear that boda bodas could be heading the matatu route if adequate policy interventions are not implemented in good time,” the report says.
In January, Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai put unruly boda boda operators on notice warning them against the emerging culture of impunity and lawlessness that pose a grave risk to public safety and security.
The police boss said he had noted recent incidences where victims of accidents which involve boda boda riders have been assaulted and in other instances, their vehicles even set ablaze.
Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the sector has grown into a multi-billion shilling industry, saying their association had the potential to make more money than all the 47 counties receive from the National Government.
“Boda boda industry is a sleeping giant that needs to be awakened which is why boda boda investment scheme is a great idea. Every individual should take pride in paying the price for what they want. If you do not pay the price, someone will pay to misuse you,” he said.
According to the president, the sector supports, directly or indirectly, 5.2 million Kenyans accounting for 10 per cent of the population.
“This means that one in every 10 Kenyans makes his livelihood because of the business that you do.”