Passenger picking and dropping points in Thika town is causing a big stalemate between Bodaboda and Tuktuk Saccos, paralyzing business activities
Justus Mwangi is the Tuktuk operators chairperson, “The Bodaboda operators have been subjecting us to continuous harassment which is mostly aimed at damaging our machinery in a conflict about picking and dropping points.”
On Saturday morning, business activities in town came to a standstill after Tuktuk operators blocked all roads leading to Thika town causing a huge traffic in a stalemate with Bodaboda motorcycles operators over picking and dropping areas where police were forced to lobby using teargas canisters.
Mwangi, “They have been deflating our Tuktuk tyres and even breaking windscreens and side mirrors. We cannot be held accountable for the customers opting to ride in our Tuktuk and despising the motorcycles. We are all in business and we should not be jealous of each other but we have to make our business conducive for everyone to work in.”
He says motorcycle business had become dangerous where they have been looting from their customers and therefore the locals have opted to Tuktuk which have been termed as safer, convenient and cost effective therefore sparking anger to the operators.
“Tuktuk services are not limited to operations as they are licensed to town service where they pick or drop their customers anywhere so long as they are not affecting the normal running of traffic in the town a service which have been effective until the standoff,” says Thika based deputy police boss Bernard Ayoo.
He agrees with Mwangi that cases of handbag snatching by criminals in motorcycles (Bodaboda) may have led to the locals shifting to the Tuktuk as they are safer and convenient. He says the security committee in the area is working on an amicable way to resolve the standoff as the members of the security committee also sit in the sub county transport committee.
“They will be resolving the matters to make sure similar situation don’t jeopardize the security of the town. Operators have to go back to the drawing board as the customers cannot be forced to ride with them if they feel threatened. Customer has the discretion to make a decision whether to ride on a motorcycle or a Tuktuk,” Ayoo.
This comes barely a week after Bodaboda operators demonstrated in Kiganjo area of Thika Sub County in what they termed as police harassment.