Boda boda riders in Busia finally elect leaders after wrangles
Bonface Nyongesa Okumu is the newly elected Busia County Boda boda riders’ chairperson in a hotly contested election held across Busia County on Friday.
Okumu garnered 479 votes defeating his contester Idewa Odhimbo who came a distant second with 115 votes as announced by the election returning officer Davis Nyabuto.
The elections follow some protracted wrangles between Busia bodaboda riders and owners over disputed leadership that have lasted over 3 years. The riders are now hoping for gradual changes in the sector.
This was the first-of-its-kind peaceful elections that brought together warring factions with the exercise being conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
The boda boda sector has over 100,000 operators, hence the need for good leadership and policies to manage it.
The outgoing chairman Erick Makokha had earlier unsuccessfully moved to court to block the election.
The newly elected chairman noted that he will work closely with the leadership of county and national governments through the office of county commissioner to restore the image of the sector that has been associated with smuggling across the porous border with Uganda, among other offenses.
“I have a singular duty to ensure that under my leadership sanity is restored in the boda boda sector. We want to build a brand new name to the sector,” noted Okumu.
“We are working together as boda boda riders to boost our economy and revenue, with these Saccos’ we want to serve the community with humility. We should also make sure that we put our safety first, and also work very closely with our leaders from the county government and cultivate mutual understanding,” he added.
“Now the new leadership should plan for a meeting with the boda boda riders in the shortest time possible to have policies implemented and chart way forward on how they can revive the sector,” said Nyabuto.