The Democratic Party (DP), an opposition political party in Uganda, has vowed to sue the government over what they have termed as “discrimination” of boda boda riders, which they say is contrary to Article 21 of the constitution.
DP Spokesperson Okoler Opio Lo Amanu said that President Museveni’s speech on re-opening is couched on isolation, targeting and persecuting those in the transport sector, and therefore there is need to challenge it.
Okoler made these remarks while addressing journalists at City House on Tuesday.
“It is absolute prejudice to deny boda boda riders an opportunity to work in the times when others with whom they are in the same sector are allowed to operate.” Okoler said at the press conference.
He added that this is the time for boda boda riders to fight in unison to demand that government allows them to operate fully like their counterparts in taxis and buses. He said that DP is ready to aid them with a “legal muscle” should they need it.
“They have been isolated, it is called discrimination contrary to article 21 of the constitution. Boda boda riders should approach us, the DP legal department is ready to cause litigation,” Okoler said.
According to Okoler and the Democratic Party (DP), the continued curfew of boda boda’s only exposes riders to extortion of money from law enforcers, who ask them to pay them once caught riding beyond the allowed time.
President Museveni in a December 31, 2021 address fully reopened the economy in phases, but said that boda boda’s will continue observing the 5am to 7pm curfew even when the economy fully re-opens later this month.
Stakeholders have challenged the President’s decision saying that it is unfair to the riders.
The president said that boda boda’s have in the past been used by criminal elements and therefore do not need to be on the road under the cover of darkness as a safety precaution.