Police in Dar es Salaam has launched a major crackdown against operators of motorbikes, commonly known as “Bodaboda” which are reportedly used in transporting suspected criminals.
More than ten “Badoboda” operators have been arrested since the operation was kick-started in Kinondoni District last week, Officer Commanding District (OCD) in Oysterbay Wilbroad Mutafungwa said yesterday.
“We are determined to fight the criminals….we are arresting motorbike operators because they are suspected to be ferrying some of the alleged criminals around,” said Mutafungwa, on behalf of Kinondoni Regional Police Commander, Charles Kenyela.
“We started the operation last week, and have arrested a total of 14 motorbikes’ operators so far,” added Matafungwa.
According to the official, investigations by the police have discovered that some of the motorists have been ferrying people who, “in one way or another are connected with different crime incidents reported in the city, including robbing filling stations and big shops.”
OCD Mutafungwa said the ongoing operation is also aimed at identifying the motorbike operators who are violating traffic regulations such as riding without safety helmets and driving licenses when transporting passengers.
This paper witnessed a significant number of Kinondoni police officers at the junction of Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road and Kenyata Drive — arresting Badoboda operators.
The Guardian yesterday saw some operators who were nabbed and escorted to the Oysterbay Police Station -for questioning and legal actions.
When contacted one Bobaboda operator, Jovit Byangwamu operating in Mwananyamala admitted that some of their colleagues were providing transport services to criminals.
“It’s an open secret that some of our colleagues are criminals…they pretend to be operators of Bodaboda, but they are criminals. Sometimes, they kidnap our colleagues and take away their belongings” he said.
He hailed latest police crackdown saying it will weed out the riders who have no knowledge or respect for road rules and regulations, but engaged in the business in order generate “fast money.”
Last month, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC) Said Meck Sadiki ordered the authorities to register all tricycles (Bodaboda) in the region and distinguish between commercial and private tricycles.
He made the remarks at the launch of Ilala traffic wardens to help the traffic police enforce traffic rules and regulations.
Sadiki said the tricycles, while a necessary means of transport in the city, were jeopardising people's lives since they contributed significantly to preventable road accidents.
"Although the parliament has allowed tricycles to operate outside the city centre, there is still need to register them according to their use including allocating park places for them.
This move will reduce or eliminate rampant traffic jams especially in the city and reduce crime," he said.
The RC urged road users to obey traffic rules and regulations instead of breaking them. He also directed petty traders to stop displaying their commodities on service roads and at bus stations since doing so denied other people, particularly pedestrians their rightful access to the roads.
He said the service roads were for pedestrians and emergency use for motorists who had a breakdown but not for parking trucks.
He called upon the traffic wardens to arrest all motorists, who would be found parking their vehicles on service roads regardless of their social or political status, for nobody was above the law.