Mombasa County Bodaboda operators have decried police harassment.
The hundreds of Bodaboda operators led by their Chairperson Khalifa Mwatsahu said police have linked them to crime.
According to Mwatsahu, the notion has negatively impacted their daily activities.
Mr. Mwatsahu revealed that there is an ongoing registration process of all Bodaboda operators in Mombasa under one association ‘Mombasa Bodaboda Operators Association’
“We are not criminals, we are only doing this business to earn an honest living,” noted Mr. Mwatsahu.
The Bodaboda, police engagement forum was the first in the Access to Justice project implemented by Human rights Organization Haki Africa.
[Human rights defenders joins security agents in launching the Access to Justice project at Bombolulu in Mombasa. Photo Atrash Bwana].
Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid called for unity between police and Bodaboda operators.
He said the rift between the two factions may distabilise efforts to enhance security within the county.
“Bodaboda operators are very critical in fighting insecurity at grassroots level, this can be enhanced by bridging the gap between the operators and police officers,” noted Mr. Khalid.
He said by encouraging the two components to work together, there will be free flow of information from the community to the police and vice-versa.
He urged the police to make Bodaboda operators security, unity and peace ambassadors at grassroots level.
The same function also saw five panga’s including a machete handed over to Coast regional police Commander Rashid Yakub.
[Coast regional Police Commandant Rashid Yakub receiving weapons surrendered by criminal gangs. Photo/Atrash Bwana].
The weapons were recovered from criminal gangs in Kisauni and Nyali Sub-counties in a community initiative led by Haki Africa Rapid response officer Mathias Hezron Shipetta.
In the same forum conducted at ‘Kwa Mwambila’ grounds in Bombolulu, Nyali Constituency, Mombasa County inspectorate Director Ibrahim Basafar said the county will register Bodaboda operators as it equally did to Tuktuk operators to solve the insecurity puzzle linked to Bodaboda operators many being the youth.
While acknowledging the human rights efforts in propagating for peace and coexistence among the community at grassroots level, Mr. Yakub urged all parties to play their roles.
Yakub has assured the human rights activists, Bodaboda operators and Mombasa dwellers of maximum police cooperation.