Masindi boda-boda riders hold elections amidst tight security

MASINDI – The members of Masindi Motorcycle Operators Association (MAMOA) held their elections under tight security at Masindi stadium in Masindi town.

More than 1000 members of MAMOA participated in the elections which were presided over by Clare Wamara, the Masindi district Senior Labor Officer and Denis Tumwine, the district Male Workers Councilor.

Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) and Uganda Police Force (UPF) heavily deployed to ensure security was guaranteed during the elections.

Before they went for elections, by consensus they agreed to lineup behind their candidates of choice.

Rick Ronald Barongo, who has been the association’s secretary for the last three years was elected the Chairperson after polling 619 votes. His opponent, Nathan Kiiza polled 53 votes.

Bernard Musinguzi Wandera, was elected the Vice Chairperson, Jonathan Wobusobozi was elected Secretary, Robert Kalisa was elected Treasurer, Isaac Ahuura was elected Defense Secretary, Solomon Baguma was elected Secretary for Publicity and Rogers Tugume was elected Secretary for Health.

There was a section of boda-boda riders who wanted to protest the elections arguing that they can not continue when accountability is not given but their efforts were futile after Denis Tumwine, the District Workers Councilor told them that according to their constitution, accountability has to be given after fourteen days from the elections have been conducted.

MAMOA has more than 3000 members from the entire Masindi district.

In his inaugural speech, Barongo promised to work hand in hand with security to avert crime amongst the boda-boda riders.

“If you are a wrong doer and you are hiding in boda-boda, I will surrender you to police. When you are doing the right thing, I will defend you,” said Barongo amidst cheers from his supporters.

He also asked the political leaders to open up their doors for them saying that they need to be offered good services as boda-boda riders.

“As boda-boda riders, we are being exploited by the organizations that give us motorcycles on loan. They confiscate our motorcycles even if we are in a lockdown and they don’t give us our cards. Our leaders should intervene,” he appealed.

Livingston Kandiho, the officer in charge Masindi Central Police Station (CPS) asked the boda-boda riders to help police in the fight against crime.

“I am your friend when you’re doing good things. When you’re supporting wrong people, we shall come for you. Cooperation with security operatives is the way to go,” Kandiho advised.

Tumwine asked the people involved in the boda-boda business to embrace the boda-boda SACCO which was formed in 2018 as one way of boosting their income.

“The SACCO will help you save money and acquire loans at a low interest rate. Don’t be exploited by other organizations and the commercial banks when you have your SACCO here,” he advised.

The new leadership is mandated to be in office for three years.

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