, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18- The Government has announced plans to hold a National Convention for Boda-Boda operators, as part of measured to address pertinent issues affecting the industry that employs nearly a million youth.
The revelation was made on Tuesday by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, after a stakeholders meeting with representatives from the Executive, National Assembly’s Transport committee and other players in the industry.
This is meant to complement the work of a recently formed task force whose mandate was meant to lapse on January 31 but has been extended to May 1.
During that period, PS Kibicho said the operators are expected to get proper training and licenses.
“They are expected to obey the law during that time,” he said.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi and his Transport counterpart James Macharia attended the meeting, where they vowed to ensure the sector, known for its lawlessness is streamlined.
“We recognize that reforms are meant to be helpful, not stressful; therefore, these constructive conversations between the Government and the boda boda fraternity are encouraged until we find a sustainable solution to the challenges in this sub-sector,” the CS stated.
On his part, CS Macharia revealed that there are plans to offer specialized training to the boda-boda operators, who are currently around 700,000 in the country.
“The extension is in the interest of giving all stakeholders a fair chance to present their views for consideration before implementation of the recommendations by the Task Force,” CS Macharia said.
Recent statistics by the National Transport Safety Authority show a rising trend of deaths caused or involving boda-boda operators.
Nairobi County authorities have been for months trying to restore order within the city, efforts that have only resulted in a hide and seek game as a determined lot of motorcycle operators defy their orders to vacate the Central Business District (CBD).
In defense, the operators say they only want to earn a living in a country where the cost of living has hit the brim and unemployment levels have gone of control.
With the establishment of the task force, they hope a middle ground can be found, where sanity prevails even as they continue with business.