More agony for Tana River residents as boda boda operators join strike

Motorbikes of striking boda boda riders in Lamu,Boda Boda operators in Tana River have downed their tools to protest over what they term as harassment by police PHOTO NATASHA NEEMA

Tana River, KENYA: Tana river residents are facing double agony after a section of boda-bodas operators in the county went on strike to protest over what they term as harassment by traffic officers.

Boda-boda chairman Mr. Bobbi Chamani told Baraka Fm on phone that transport from Idtsowe to Garsen and Minjila had been affected after operators withdrew their probox vehicles and motorbikes.

The Delta chairman blamed police officers saying they were arresting his members aimlessly even without finding out whether the bodaboda riders had complied with the requirements or not.

Bobbi urged the county government led by Major rtd. Dhadho Godhana to hold a meeting with stakeholders to look for a way forward to solve the matter as well as helping those who don’t have licenses to acquire them.

“I’m worried that if this matter is not solved in time, most of the youths will be engaging in crime as the boda-boda is their main income generating activity,” said Mr. Bobbi.

As other boda-boda operators went on strike in the Delta region, in Tana River sub-county most of the operators were in business as usual.

Speaking to Baraka FM on Monday, sub-county boda-boda chairman Mr. Maro Paul said it has been hard for them to join others saying that will affect their family’s upkeep.

Mr. Maro, they are okay with the rules and as boda-boda operators in the county, they were ready to comply with the requirements.

However, Mr. Maro said some rules are punitive saying in Tana River the weather is hot and that wearing a helmet will be like a torture to bodaboda operators.

Over a hundred people have been charged in court since the beginning of the Michuki laws re-enforcement.

County police Commander Mr. Patrick Okeri told Baraka FM that most of the culprits arrested on Monday were those who rode boda-bodas without licenses, reflectors, helmets and those who failed to fasten their safety belts.

Mr. Okeri confirmed that his officers had gone round arresting the lawbreakers.