At least 7,000 boda boda operators from Kilifi county have been registered to attend driving school course in order to attain driving licenses.

This follows a countrywide crackdown that saw many boda bodas impounded on breaking traffic regulations.

The driving license project which is expected to run for two months will cost millions of shillings and has been facilitated by Kilifi North Member of Parliament aspirant Amani Mlewa in partnership with Unik Driving School.

Addressing the boda boda operators at Mbuzi Wengi grounds in Kilifi, the parliamentary seat aspirant said it is his priority to ensure that his fellow youths are uplifted since they are the main drivers of the country’s economic growth.

Amani challenged other leaders who preceded him saying they have only used the youths for their selfish political gains.

“I won’t stop at just providing you with the driving license only, I will ensure that I lift the youth’s economy in this county. Your previous politicians have proven to you that they do not care about you, all they do is develop themselves but leave you in impoverished poverty,” Amani said.

Amani informed that he has registered 200 boda bodas from each ward in Kilifi to attend the driving classes from all the branches of Unik driving school at the Coast region.

Kilifi North parliamentary aspirant Amani Mlewa (Center) with Kilifi Boda boda operators set benefit from driving license Photo by Treeza Auma

The MP aspirant is contesting for the seat through Pamoja African Alliance Party(PAA) awaiting nominations.

Unik Driving School Director urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the offer with utmost discipline in order to better the economy and be on the safe side of the law.

He said many boda operators are carelessly driving on the roads not only risking their lives but also their families and passengers.

“I know most of you do not have riding safety kits like helmet but still drive on the road. Even for some who have, they still drive carelessly without prioritizing safety. I know of an 18-year-old boy who recently broke his spinal cord in an accident after carelessly driving despite the fact that he wore a helmet. Please value your lives and other people’s before you start being careless while driving,” he warned

He cautioned the riders joining the school to be serious about the facilitated programme saying those who won’t co-operate with the school’s regulations will face the National Transport and Safety Authority(NTSA), the examiners.

Kilifi County Inspectorate Salim Mwinyinguti lauded the move and urged the riders to co-operate with the traffic officials in order to achieve smooth operations in the roads.

“Do not hesitate to seek for help from my office at any time you are in trouble,” Mwinyinguti urged

Boda boda operators in Kilifi County after benefitting from driving licenses facilitated by Kilifi North MP Aspirant, Amani Mlewa Photo by Treeza Auma

Speaking during the session with the boda bodas, Christine Zawadi, Kilifi county women representative aspirant urged the beneficiaries to prioritize road safety to avoid unnecessary accidents.

She also attacked the inspectorate officials for corruption saying that the riders are not able to progress due to their corrupt actions.

“Now that the county inspectorate officials are here, I will state it as it is, stop harassing the riders and taking petty money from them. You find one boda operator offering fifty shillngs here, a hundred shillings there and at the end of the day they have nothing to carry home. Some boda bodas are still on loan and some are borrowed, if you keep collecting the small money from them, they will not progress,” Zawadi said.

Kilifi County Senatorial Aspirant Ben Kai promised to pay for the riders National Health Insurance Funds (NHIF) registration fees so as to benefit from ease of access to quality and affordable healthcare provision in the country.

“Last year on my birthday, I sensitized all the boda boda operators to register as self-employed members with NHIF. Today, I stand here to tell you that I will pay for the registration fees for all the riders who are going to benefit from this driving license program organized by Amani,” Kai said.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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