At least 200 Boda-boda cyclists in Acholi and Lango sub regions are crying foul after allegedly being defrauded more than Sh100 million by a one Easy Boda-Boda Company Ltd in Koro Sub-County in Omoro District.
The aggrieved cyclists allege that prior to the lockdown in March this year, Easy Boda-Boda Company Ltd advertised on local radio stations in Gulu City the availability of affordable motorcycle loan services.
Convinced by the company’s offer, each of the over 200 cyclists remitted a cash payment of sh740,000, two passport size photographs and a photocopy of their National identity card as a prerequisite to access a new motorcycle.
Richard Opiyo and Michael Kinyera who hail from Gulu and Omoro Districts respectively fell for the scam. According to the duo, after their failed attempts to secure the promised motorcycles they reported the matter to Gulu City Boda-Boda Association for redress.
Tonny Emor, a resident of Minakulu in Oyam District disclosed that he met all conditions to access the motorcycle and was issued a receipt acknowledging payment. He explains that the company promised to deliver his motorcycle by end of March but this hasn’t materialized.
Justine Odong, the Koro Sub-County LC 3 Chairperson told URN that he has received a list of 166 people who made partial payments to Easy Boda-Boda Company Ltd.
According to Odong, Easy Bod-Boda Company Ltd, which was issued a trading license by the Sub-County has since vacated their office premises and the only available telephone contact of the Director, Charles Matovu is inaccessible.
Simon Wokorach, the Chairperson of Gulu City Boda-boda Association, says they have recorded numerous complaints from various cyclists, majority of whom are from Omoro, Nwoya, Amuru, Oyam, Pader and Kole Districts. He says they have reported the matter to police for further inquiries.
Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, Patrick Jimmy Okema, confirmed receipt of the fraud case lodged by the riders. He warns members of the public against getting involved with companies that demand for payment before rendering their services.
The Boda-boda motorcycle industry is a source of cheap transport in Uganda’s urban and rural areas. The informal sector employees over 25,000 youth in Acholi sub region.