By Joseph Kimbowa
News in the past few weeks has been dominated by lockdown-hit Ugandans crying out to the President to open their businesses as they can no longer hold forte.
Right from religious leaders to arcade owners to musicians and boda boda riders, these common-interest groups have petitioned either Trade minister, Speaker of Parliament or MPs to talk to the President to ease the lockdown, given that other sectors are back in operations.
Despite these efforts, the President looks unlikely to buckle until his ‘scientists’ tell him otherwise.
My biggest highlight, however, has been about boda boda riders. First, their run-ins with security agencies in various parts of the country have been very disheartening and their handling by security agencies should be condemned. But there is an underlying issue in the boda boda plight. Just like most urban dwellers, boda boda cyclists live off daily income.
Denying them work for more than a month is in itself an indirect death sentence. A big section of these cyclists are riding borrowed motorbikes while many others sold their inherited land to come to Kampala and pursue a brighter future. I will concentrate on the latter group because it is the most endangered.
Imagine a young man in Kawempe, who sold his fair share of land inheritance and bought a boda boda.