The government has issued a new directive to the estimated 1.4 million bodaboda operators in the country to obtain licenses or face dire consequences.

Speaking at an event held by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and the Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya, Ministry of Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho gave a 90-day ultimatum to all operators in the country.

The event which was held on Monday, November 6, 2021, was attended by representatives of boda boda riders across the country.

File image of Interior Principal Secretary Dr. Karanja Kibicho during a past event. [Photo: Ministry of Interior]

Kibicho stated that the government has partnered with the National Youth Service (NYS) and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to provide free motorcycle riding classes and driving licences to operators.

He added that Kenya currently has over 2.5 million registered motorcycles out of which 1.4 million are in the boda boda business.

NCIC chairperson Samwel Kobia called upon the operators to shy away from violence propagated by politicians. This is after the representatives signed a pact with NCIC to ensure peace during the 2022 General Election.

“We call on all boda boda riders and Kenyans, in general, to refuse to be used as goons for hire. Turn down senseless offers from politicians & their cohorts to be used as amplifiers of hate messages & executors of violence,” Kobia urged.

The bodaboda industry has been the go-to sector for many youths trying to earn a living for themselves.

Youth in the boda boda business have long been used by politicians to cause chaos and as the political atmosphere in the country heats up, NCIC has urged them not to partake in violence.