By Metedeo Iceta.
Moyo, West Nile: The Boda-Boda cyclists in Moyo town Council, Moyo district have blocked the road to Yumbe while protesting what they call unjustified arrests and extortion of money by traffic police in the district.
The cyclists accuse traffic police of confiscating their motorcycles and thereafter charge them money especially when they arrest them while on the roads to extend or impound their motorcycles in the community access roads.
This Morning (Wednesday) , the cyclists clashed with the police at the Moyo Central Police Station blocking roads after their colleague’s motorcycle was allegedly impounded at one of community access roads and brought to Central Police station.
Williams Anyama,the Moyo district Local Council Five Chairman is struggling to prevent the hangry Boda-Boda Cyclists of Moyo Town Council,Moyo District on Wednesday Morning from advancing to attack Police station.Photo Credit By Metedio Iceta
Mr Saviour Anyama, the Speaker of the Moyo Boda-Boda Association explained that they have received several complaints from the cyclists about the conduct of the police while enforcing the traffic rules on the road, especially persistent extortion of money. Something little you hear they shoot someone; I think its traffic regulation to have Boda-Boda riders wearing reflectors problems comes when there is incontinence in following the regulation by the traffic officer by extortion of money from us. WE don’t want the officer identified as Kiseka because he has turned us into a source of money. He sometimes forgets the fact that Boda-Boda riders have family to take care of and this is the matter of concern which brought all this confusion in the town today”, Mr Anyama said.
“The traffic officers in Moyo district are now even enforcing road safety regulations in the village at community access roads. Some of the officers are corrupt you may find out that they arrest our member on the road they will request you to pay amount of UGX 40000-80000 and this money is paid without documents this is how grossly we are suffering in the hands of this officers”
SP Geoffrey Engwangu, the Moyo district police commander told daily Monitor that there are a number of Operations taking place in Uganda which Moyo district is not expositional as regards to traffic rules in the Country like Helmets, Driving permits, insurance and many others.
“The Boda-Boda cyclists in Moyo district are experiencing a lot of challenges where a number of them do not have these requirements and as the leadership of the district we had several engagements to ensure at least they get permits to on the road. However, up to date they have not. they tried to show their dissatisfaction on how the officers arrested them on the road and also impounded their motorcycles”, Mr Engwangu said.
“We are telling them this is not the way to go because confrontation is not the best way. We called upon them to always have minds for dialogue and solve their concerns on peaceful manner and on the officer accused we are taking decision as management to have him do office work for main time as I engage the directorate of traffic have him probably moved to another working station and serve better since Moyo as district motorist are unhappy with him”
Mr Goffin Gore, the Moyo Resident District Commissioner has urged the Boda-Boda Cyclists to always engage his office on matters of such concerns and that of the office of LCV Chairperson other than taking the law into their hands which may bring problems for them with the security officers in the district.
“It is better when the police arrest you and find you with relevant documents like insurance, riding permit other than having nothing. You end up fearing the DPC or Office of RDC and yet you can have good reasons and once the cyclists come to explain themselves, we do listen to their concerns”, Mr Gore said.
“The Police officers are also getting orders from Kampala and they are expected to do work to avoid pressure from the officer headquarter. We have heard the outcry of our motorists and appropriate measures would be taken upon the errant officer together with the Directorate of Police to transfer him out from the district and this is what immediately my office is going to handle and we have assured our boys”, Mr Gore said.
Mr Williams Anyama, the Moyo District Local Council Five Chairperson has described the incident as unfortunate much as it has been anticipated by his office. “I have earlier projected that this kind of circumstance would happen one day in this district. This is so because we have got a traffic officer in Moyo who has no humanity in delivery of services and we all appreciate that the traffic and road safety act has got regulations that everybody has to follow but in the enforcement aspects”, Mr Anyama said.
“It is important to put an aspect of human face because you are dealing with human beings and you must be a listener and hear situation case by case but we have got specific traffic officer like Kiseka who has been extorting money from people and this are not small money whereby the lowest amount is Ugx 40,000 from poor Boda-Boda cyclists who are struggling with life”
Mr Anyama said the traffic officer in question must be transferred to another place of work which is the position we standby because the accused person has personality problems.
“The officer is causing problems for the government; he is conflicting the people against the government and we cannot continue to leave and work with someone who has personality problems because the relationship has broken down. The people do not trust him already. My office has worked together with the Police and Resident District Commissioner as head of security to ensure the officer is transferred immediately and we don’t have any room for him to tolerate him in Moyo district”, Mr. Anyama said.