- Kiambu Settled Area chief George Kibugi says the sector has attracted many youths who are being used to perpetrate crime.
- He says the young men do not have licences, their motorbikes are not registered, and some do not have national identity cards.
An administrator has given boda boda operators in Kiambu town 14 days to register with Saccos to curb criminal activities in the sector.
Kiambu Settled Area chief George Kibugi said the boda boda sector has attracted many youths who have either acquired a motorbike or are employed and are being used to perpetrate criminal activities.
"As administrators, we have learnt and got information that some boda boda operators are involved in criminal activities," said Kibugi on Wednesday.
He said the young men in the sector do not have licences, their motorbikes are not registered, some do not have national identity cards, and others operate during curfew hours.
"Many Form 4 leavers hang around boda boda sheds with an aim of being allowed to make a few trips for pay. But in the groupings, they smoke, sell bhang and transport illicit and second-generation brews. If this is not tamed early, it will lead to a dangerous monster that will take a long time to slay," Kibugi said.
He added that the most notorious operators are from Kangoya village where they were forced to demolish a shed and several kiosks that sell mitura on suspicions of bhang sale.
The chief said there is no order in the sector as the operators mostly flout traffic rules, block pedestrians and other motorists and when confronted they come en masse to harass the public.
"If one operator commits a traffic offence, they gather to support the rider and this has led to either a motorist or pedestrian being beaten. The group later flees the scene," he said.
Kibugi said it is through Saccos and submission of their names to authorities that the bad elements among them will be weeded out.
"I have given the operators time to visit social service offices here in Kiambu town to register and form a Sacco. From there, they will submit their names to my office so that we know which Sacco operates where and if there is a complaint we will know where the problem is. We have been having a hard time addressing complaints because tracing the riders is difficult," Kibugi said.
He said operators are missing out on government funding and free training programmes that would help them get licences.
However, the boda boda operators accused chiefs and their assistants of high-handedness, saying they are not criminals. Isaac Kinuthia said the operating sheds were destroyed by the chiefs who are always harassing them.
"The chiefs ought to identify who is a criminal amongst us and not harass all of us since some of us are operating legally to support our families," Kinuthia said.
The operators claimed that they have not yet been registered in any group as no one has ever come to engage them on what to do to operate legally.
It was, however, established that most operators in several stages within the town and its surroundings do not belong to the areas they operate from, hence residents have been reporting cases of harassment and theft to the chief's office.
The administrators, in conjunction with the police, have vowed not to relent in fighting crime within the sector.
-Edited by SKanyara