Democratic Party (DP) has announced they are ready to offer legal services to Boda-boda riders should they opt to contest what they call discrimination in enforcement of the curfew directive which has been sustained on their business as the country’s economy inches closer to full re-opening.
In his nation address on 31st December 2021, president Museveni announced fully opening of the transport sector of the economy, save for Boda-boda business, which he said will have to continue to operate under curfew restrictions even when other players in the sector like Taxis and buses are exempted will freely operate.
DP now says, the manner in which the economy is to be opened as per the President’s speech is couched on isolation, targeting and persecuting those in the transport sector, and 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.
Mr. Okoler Opio Lo Amanu -the DP Spokesperson said, the decision taken against Boda-boda riders was done with the utmost level of indifference and there is want of courtesy to give reasons why such a decision is made.
“We believe that this is the time when Boda Boda riders should fight in unison to demand that government allows them to operate fully at all times as is the case for taxis and buses. They have been isolated, it is called discrimination contrary to article 21 of the constitution.” Mr Opio said.
“Boda Boda riders should approach us for legal muscle, the legal department of DP is ready to cause litigation. We are only awaiting instructions from the leadership of the Boda Boda riders. We shall stand with you.” he said.
DP also questioned the legality of some of the directives recently issued by president Yoweri Museveni saying the ambiguous conditions under which the transport sector players are going to operate is bound to fail or expose the drivers to blatant extortion of money from the law enforcers.
Mr Opio says, whereas the rest of the transport means were opened to operate fully, the quixotic, anomalous and ambiguous conditions under which Boda-boda are going to operate is bound to fail or expose the drivers to blatant extortion of money from the law enforcers and query the process to affirm the authenticity of the vaccination cards which are a perquisite requirement for one to be allowed to use all means of public transport.
Among the guidelines issued, is for travelers to present COVID-19 vaccination cards before they are allowed to use public means of transport in Uganda.
“There are many unanswered questions; for instance, who will determine the authenticity of the vaccination card? What remedy does those that forgot theirs at home have? What legal framework supports these guidelines? etc..” Opio queried.
In a related development, DP has called on government to ensure that the proposed aid extended to private schools, trickles down to parents through reduced fees as the education sector prepares for full re-opening starting Monday – January 8th, 2022.
Government has earmarked over 360billion to jumpstart the educational institutions as the education sector prepares to resume classes for learners in Secondary and Primary and Lower Primary classes. DP asked government to let the beneficiaries of this fund cause its reflection through reduced fees that the parents are charged.
“Our research shows that 50% of the parents won’t be able to pay first term school fees because of lack. It is therefore appropriate that the government empowers the parents to take their children back to school by causing subsidies in the fees paid to the beneficiaries of the fund. If for instance; a school has been paying shillings 200,000 let this be divided by a half. The government should ensure that the aid trickles down to benefit the parents as well.” Mr Opio said.
DP also implored the school owners to be lenient with parents and accept items like grains, services to the school by the parents in lieu of school fees at least for this term beginning on the 10th. Jan. 2022.