Don't tax boda boda, says Senator Maina

Treasury CS said the boda boda mode of transport was risky to the riders, passengers and even pedestrians.

In Summary

• Senator proposes low earners to be exempted from taxation.

•Treasury CS accused bodaboda operators for getting away with murder .

Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina.
Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina.
Image: FILE

Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina has condemned government's move to impose new tax on boda boda operators.

This comes after Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Thursday proposed that boda boda and tuk-tuk operators should have insurance cover for passengers and pedestrians.

Senator Maina said the 2019/2020 financial year budget had hit hard the small sectors of the society.


"The boda boda operators are people who are trying to uplift themselves from poverty. Slapping them with new taxation is not appropriate," he said yesterday in an interview with the Star.

Treasury CS had said the boda boda mode of transport was risky to the riders, passengers and even pedestrians.

"The accident victims, who are mostly from the lower cadres of the society, are left to seek financial assistance for treatment from friends and relatives since these boda bodas are not insured," he said.

Rotich also said despite boda boda sector's contribution to the economy, it has been getting away with murder as many pedestrians and passengers have been left victims of their accidents.

The 2019/2020 budget, estimated at Sh3.1 trillion, is the most expensive budget Kenya since independence.

The senator said during former President Mwai Kibaki's regime, the boda boda sector was uplifted, paving for employment of hundreds of youth in the society.

He also says boda bodas are among the small sectors who should be exempted from taxation.


"The low earners and anybody living from hand to mouth should be exempted from taxation," he said.

Maina also said oppressing the low-income earners will have a negative impact in the society including rise of depression among them.

The senator proposed that the government should come up with a special group insurance which will easily work for the boda boda operators without making them dig deeper into their pockets.

He said pushing the boda boda operators to the commercial sector for insurance will not work.

Boda boda operators through the Boda boda Association of Kenya last year began self-regulation measures by having all operators registered.

The move also aims to protect the sector from criminal gangs masquerading as boda boda operators.

The registration numbers enabled the public and boda boda users obtain information including the name of the rider, ID number and motorbike registration number among other details.