MPs oppose boda boda insurance directive

Cyclists (boda boda) and motorists stuck in traffic along Kenyatta avenue, Nairobi on May 25, 2019. [Elvis Ogina.Standard]

MPs are opposed to a government proposal that requires boda boda riders to procure insurance cover for their passengers.

The lawmakers argue the move will kill the sub-sector which has offered employment to many youths.

According to the leaders, the idea fronted by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich could potentially turn into a security threat.

This is because those who are forced out of the boda boda business are likely to turn to crime.

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“We have to re-look that particular issue,” said Kesses MP Swarup Mishra.

“Asking the riders to pay more insurance premiums to include their passengers is beyond the means of these young people. If they fail in that line of business, they are likely to turn to crime.”

Although the lawmakers supported other taxation measures by Treasury that are intended to fund the budget, they noted that a majority of MPs were uncomfortable with the insurance requirements for boda bodas.

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The MPs said a majority of the riders are financially and economically challenged, adding that heaping the burden of insurance premiums on them will only worsen the situation.

MPs Hilary Kosgei (Kipkelion West), George Aladwa (Makadara), Simba Arati (Dagoretti North) and Elisha Odhiambo (Gem) said that they will fight the proposal.

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Mr Arati for example questioned why Rotich failed to include in his Sh3 trillion budget strategies of addressing unemployment.

“You cannot fail to address strategies on how to reduce unemployment in this country,” said Arati.

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MPsHenry RotichTreasuryBoda boda