On April 6, Isah Ssenyange, a resident of wantoni in Mukono Municipality thought it was unfair to spend a night meant for the second wife with his first wife thus getting up in good spirits, bought a hen in Nakannyonyi and decided to head to Wantoni to meet his second wife.
At about 8:30pm, Ssenyange got onto his boda boda to ride approximately 14 kilo metres from Nakanyonyi to Wantoni in a hurry to reach on time that the hen would be slaughtered and had for supper. But the cruel hand of death didn’t allow him to get home as he got knocked dead by a Fuso truck opposite Mpoma Girls School.
Eye witnesses narrate that Ssenyange swerved into the middle of the road and hence became an unfortunate by meeting with faster moving vehicles, as indeed it happened when a Tipper Lorry registration number UAR 434E knocked him dead.
Eye witnesses and fellow cyclists however blamed the deceased for being impatient.
Ssenyange is not alone. He joins a long list of boda boda riders who have been involved in serious crashes, often because of their poor use of the road.
Ironically, the increase in road crashes comes at a time when Mukono District is celebrating improvements in its roads following completion of Mukono- Katosi Road, Mukono- Kayunga Road and now on going construction of Mukono-Kampala road. Observers point out that the district has also witnessed an increase in the number of boda boda cyclists.
It is estimated that the Kampala Metropolitan area alone currently boasts of over 400,000 boda boda riders.
Ronald Werendula from Mukono Municipality, attributes the increase in boda-boda related crashes to ignorance about road rules among most boda boda cyclists coupled with impatience on the other hand.
He adds that disrespect for other road users by motorists is another reason for the rising number of Crashes.
“The roads are good now. The only challenge I see is that my colleagues are poor at joining roads, which is why you see most of the accidents occur at road junctions, “says Werendula.
“For us as boda boda cyclists we sometimes find it difficult to use the narrow roads where pedestrians and motorists are reluctant to give way. Motorists take us for granted at junctions. They think cyclists and pedestrians should always give them way even when they are supposed to wait to join a main road,” adds Werendula
Werendula further alleges that a number of motorists just decide to take their cars onto the road with out obtaining the necessary road skills or the papers.
According to Mukono Traffic police reports, 6 people all of which were motorists perished in fatal crashes in Mukono district in just a day which is the 6th of May when Ssenyange also died in a crash.
Luke Oweyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson told DaParrot that the rate of road crashes in Kampala Metropolitan is worrying because people have continued to lose their lives due to speeding on the busy roads and non-adherence to road safety rules.
“You find someone rushing to join a main road without looking left right, left and right again. These are simple things but they save lives,” he said.
Oweyesigyire adds that police findings on the rampant road crashes indicate a worrying trend of inconsiderate usage of the road and impatience by the boda boda riders to join the main raod.
“Our boda bodas are impatient. They are always in a rush. speeding is still a challenge. Some people think when they are using the road, it’s theirs alone. If you want to reach some where early, prepare in time so that you arrive safely, ” says Oweyesigyire.
Police also argues that the problem is being made worse by the increase in Kampala Metropolitan’s population against a stagnant number of officers to police the burgeoning population.
Faridah Nampiima, PRO Traffic and Road Safety insists that road crashes can be reduced if motorists respect other road users, boda boda riders have helmets, driving permits and always follow the traffic signs.
According to the national police report 2020, a total of 4,649 road crashes were reported in Kampala Metropolitan area and of these, 685 crashes were fatal, 2,268 persons sustained grave injuries while 1,696 were minor.