West Pokot boda boda operators protest police brutality, bribery

Boda boda riders at Makutano Junction, Kapenguria on Sunday, November 25, 2018. /MARRYANN CHAI
Boda boda riders at Makutano Junction, Kapenguria on Sunday, November 25, 2018. /MARRYANN CHAI

Boda Boda and matatu operators in West Pokot have protested against police harassment, brutality, and corruption in the ongoing PSV crackdown.

They were joined by Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto and several MCAs who accused the police in the area of taking advantage of the operation to solicit bribes.

During a press conference in Kapenguria town on Sunday, the leaders lamented over the many roadblocks mounted in the area.

They raised fears of youths returning to cattle rustling and banditry activities for lack of jobs or proper source of income.

Riders said the officers clobber them and impound their motorbikes yet the compliance deadline is two months away.

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i gave the boda boda up to January 31, 2019, to comply with traffic rules.

"The youths have turned back to regressive practices and crimes in the area. The government should understand the history of West Pokot," Moroto said.

Traffic police, Administration Police and National Police Reservists have been enforcing the traffic rules as ordered on November 12.

Moroto called on the government to extend the period for boda boda riders to comply with the traffic rules.

Peter Kachipa, the county's boda boda association chairman, said they are asked to pay between Sh100 and Sh3,000 at the roadblocks.

"We don’t know where the money they solicit goes. They don’t issue receipts. Many people have given them money," he said.

Kachipa added that even vehicles that have all the requirements are still compelled to part with cash."

West Pokot traffic base commander Elijah Teeka dismissed the allegations saying those complaining have not been following the law.

"When you see them lamenting, it means we are working," he told the Star on the phone.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star