I do not want to sound like the uncooperative Ugandan who is out to stumble steady progress but honestly the thought of telling a random boda boda man my name, phone number and NIN just so I can get a ride to the market or wherever, is oba how! I do not know what is worse, walking to work or this. Giving random people your details feels like trading our oh so cherished mystery. I see some kajanja boda boda even asking for father and mother’s name, date of birth, blood group and last meal I had. If you have used this mode of transport long enough, you know how nosy some riders can be, some are even said to be spies. This directive will simply feed their itchy ears.
I also see a streetwise boda guy selling details of customers to willing buyers. These buyers can range from single and searching people looking for love, individuals looking to market kukumanga, jealous and jilted stalkers, debt collectors who you have been trying to elude by changing phone numbers, preachers with ebyamagero for sale, politicians looking for votes and a witch doctor with a mujini from Tanzania.
I have lived in the same place for a long time and I have about three boda guys who are my go-to but they do not know my name. They simply say madamu or auntie oli omumpi. And I ‘d like to keep it that way. So maybe we should just stick to the safeboda, uber, etc arrangement. The rides are recorded so is the name and phone number. No need to pull out some long black book to register my details. As for my home non-safeboda guys, I might have to think up random names that are impossible to pronounce. I am thinking of starting with Ushaquithanda.
He did not say it but I think what the President wanted to communicate is that all bodaboda operators should belong to a company such as safeboda or uber, and others where customer names, numbers and destinations are recorded digitally and the boda’s credentials are known too.
Because I do not know about you but the idea of having a black book where you manually write customer names and numbers is a bit much. Where are they going to keep the books even? The guy has a helmet, a mask, a jacket and the green kaveera at the back of his bike which carries his lunch I think. Where is he going to keep the book, pen and a katasa of soapy water?
So anyway, encourage your boda guy to join a registered transport company or start your own company and recruit him.