NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 16 – The government’s intended proposal to amend insurance rules so that boda boda operators can cover both pedestrians and passengers continues to generate heat as those opposed vow to move to court.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria have termed the move as ill advised, saying it is likely to kill the booming industry, which employs more than one million youths in the country.
As a result, they say they will challenge the proposal to court as the government seeks to strike a balance between public safety and reaching targets, for East Africa’s largest budget, which amounts to Sh3.02 trillion.
“I will support the President on the Big 4 Agenda but on the boda boda issue we will go to court on Monday to challenge Cabinet Secretary Rotich. We will not accept it as leaders”, Sonko said.
Gatundu South legislator Moses Kuria said the law would be punishing to boda boda riders.
“We know boda boda operators have not refused to pay insurance, they are unable to pay. We will continue to engage Rotich but on Monday we are moving to court to stop him. We urge all boda boda operators to work as usual as we seek for a solution in court from Monday,” he said.
In his annual budget speech on Thursday Rotich noted that “boda boda transport has become an important sector in our economy, it is one of the largest employers of our youth and provides cheap and convenient transport for Kenyans. Despite the above benefits, Mr Speaker, this mode of transport has proven to be very risky to the riders, passengers and even pedestrians.”
Kevin Mubadi, the chairperson of Boda-Boda Safety Association of Kenya, however, in a statement said they will only support the government proposal if they ensure claims are paid at least in four weeks’ time and the cost of premiums is reviewed downward.
“We will not support the idea because it will only impose more suffering to our already poor members and stretch them further on their little income. We wish to invite relevant government body to have a discussion with us and have a better way of achieving mutual benefit,” he said in a statement.