· 2 months ago

SafeBoda driver attacked by other ‘regular’ boda-boda drivers in Kampala


Murphy’s law seems to be applying to SafeBoda in the recent past. Just when the company is trying to overcome one issue, others pile. Indeed, misery loves company.

Yesterday, one of the startup’s drivers was attacked by regular bodas in Kampala. That is according to the passenger the driver was trying to pick up.

The passenger says that they were both at an airtime stand with the SafeBoda driver. “So as [I] go to buy Airtime at this kiosk, I meet this Safeboda guy also buying airtime as he prepares for the new day,” he tweeted.

He decided to take him rather than request, as SafeBoda allows you to pair with a driver nearest request. But as they were doing so, a group of regular boda-boda drivers showed up.

“As we try to Pair the ride, some normal boda guy arrives with some friends of his, and start yelling at him,” he added. They said, in Luganda, “tetwagala safeboda mukibuga, SafeBoda mukibuga twazigoba”. Which translates into “we no longer want Safeboda in the city, we chased them away”.

He, the passenger, thought that they were goofing around. Yet, this intensified as they grabbed his helmet and shoved him around.

“I actually thought they were just joking around at first. But the guys get real physical and the number mysteriously increases to around 5 guys, all hurling insults and threatening to kill him.”

They, apparently, grabbed the drivers helmet and smashed it on the ground. Though the SafeBoda driver tried fighting back, the group of the regular boda-boda drivers was growing. Now, they were about five.

Even though the traffic police showed, it was late as, Jonathan, the SafeBoda driver, had already lost his helmet as well as beaten.

Also read: Uganda’s SafeBoda is rumored to have raised $1.1 Million this year

Apparently, the regular boda-boda drivers are growing frustrated because SafeBoda is gaining ground. They allege that SafeBoda drivers earn more on average compared to them.

The incident in Kampala is not isolated. Uber, the successful pioneer of the model, has had its driver face resistance in the past. This has happened in several markets across Europe and Africa.

In February 2016, Nairobi Taxi drivers said that Uber was driving them out of business. Thus demanding that it leaves the market. While a Taxify driver was killed in South Africa in March this year. An attack that is suspected to have been staged by the metered taxi drivers.

Perhaps SafeBoda hadn’t received the attacks yet because it was still on a smaller scale. Now that they are significant, they are affecting the take-home for the regular bodas.

We’ve reached out to SafeBoda for a comment and will update as soon as they get back to us.


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