Boda boda gangs pose security risk, study shows
SEE ALSO :51 driving schools now face delistingThe report says gangs have resorted to using the mode of transport as it provides quick getaways from crime scenes. The survey found out that riders hired as casuals or on commission basis commits most boda boda-related crimes at 71.9 per cent followed by riders with hired motorcycles at 66.5 per cent. Passengers are also involved in the criminal activities at 61.6 per cent while general public contributed 33.7 per cent. “Riders hired as casuals or on commission basis could be committing most crimes because of the insecure nature of their contractual obligations and pressure to comply. Currently, in some areas, there is a daily set target that must be delivered to the owners of the motorbikes before the rider can keep any revenues generated after meeting fuel costs and other incidentals,” it says. It is on this basis, fuelled by “greed and desire for quick money” that the youthful riders have resorted to criminal activities.
SEE ALSO :Bruised, battered but spirited matatusThe report shows it is riskier to ride on a boda boda from 7pm to around midnight as that is the time most of the passengers are mugged or waylaid. “In mapping out the time of the day when boda boda-related crimes mostly occur, 41 per cent of the respondent indicated that most crimes are committed at night between 7pm to about midnight,” report says. The operators have also been blamed for operating with impunity on the road and do not observe traffic rules, leading to fatal accidents. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) reports that there are 1,393,390 motorcycles registered in Kenya as at February, 2018. However, the exact numbers of these motorcycles operating as boda bodas in the country is not known and documented.
SEE ALSO :Road accidents on the riseAccording to NTSA, at least 20 per cent of fatal accidents are caused by motorcycle operators. At least 3,000 people lose their lives in road accidents annually. “Many accidents and emergency wards across the country are full of patients injured in boda boda-related road crashes. The growth of motorcycles operations in Kenya has undoubtedly cost lives through motorcycle accidents,” it adds. Rogue operators have also been accused being law unto themselves and engaging in lynching of suspected criminals, some of whom could be innocent. Some riders have also turned into vigilantes and appear to thrive in lawlessness. “Some operators conduct raids in some estates and villages, waylay and lynch people suspected to be criminals. They rarely obey traffic rules, including traffic lights and zebra crossings, have little regard to other road users’ right of way, ride on pavements and footpaths designated for pedestrians,” it adds. The report cites unemployment and idleness, poverty, drug and substance abuse, lack or weak regulation of boda boda sub-sector, greed and desire for quick money, weak law enforcement by the police and other law enforcement agencies, peer pressure, high levels of illiteracy and criminal mindset as some of the root causes of the wave of criminal activities by the riders. Cases of murder committed by boda boda riders are highest in Mombasa at 9.8 per cent followed by Taita Taveta at 9.2 per cent. Other counties have reported murder by criminals in the trade are Kwale (8.9 per cent), Busia (6.6) and Homa Bay at 5.2 per cent. Robbery by people riding motorbikes was highest in Nairobi at 5.9 per cent followed by Mombasa at 4.9 per cent. Other counties with cases of robbery by riders are Siaya at 4.5 per cent, Kiambu at 4.4 per cent and Busia at 3.3 per cent. Cases of abduction was recorded highest in Mandera at 10.8 per cent followed by Garissa at 10.7 and Kwale at 8.8 per cent. At least 5, 515 people were interviewed in the survey, 4,313 respondents being the public and 1,202 being riders. Of the numbers, 2359 (67.5 per cent) said they have witnessed motorcycle accidents in the last one year. Another 1,187 said they have witnessed boda boda-related robberies and stealing while 83 have witnessed lynch-mob or mob justice by riders. Cases of commuters being raped by riders, drug trafficking and kidnappings were at 0.5 per cent, 0.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.
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