Kenya: Boda Boda Riders Up in Arms Over Perceived Senate Attack Against Lenders

Nairobi — The Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya has cautioned the Senate against unfairly targeting higher purchase institutions that that advance credit to boda boda riders saying the attacks are not legally backed.

The Association says that the latest attacks against financiers in motorcycles business is witch-hunt whose move will slow down the growth in the sector that employs millions of Kenyans.

“It’s sad that legislators are threatening to shut down lenders in the boda boda sector at a time we cannot walk into a bank and secure a credit without collateral to aide the the purchase of motorbikes,” said Boda Boda Safety Association Chair Kevin Mubadi in an interview yesterday.

The harassment by politicians against higher purchase firms that offer credit to boda boda operators is coming at a time lenders such as Watu Credit has been subjected to unnecessary scrutiny by the Senate over claims that it was operating illegally.

The higher purchase firm was however this month cleared by the Senate committee over alleged complain of exploitation and suspicious loss of motorbikes sold to boda boda operators.

Watu had been summoned by the Senate Committee on Trade, Industrialisation and Tourism following a statement made by Nandi Senator, Samson Cherargey.

The Senator had cast doubts on the activities of the company following numerous complaints from the firm’s customers, who petitioned the Senate over rampant theft of motorcycles purchased from the company.

The Senate committee requested the credit firm to provide submissions on the allegations of malpractices and exploitation with regard to its way of conducting business in Kenya.

On November 16, Watu attended the senate committee meeting, represented by its leadership team, CEO Andris Kaneps, country manager (Kenya) Erick Massawe and HoD Legal Rose Osiemo.

Following the firm’s submissions, the committee said they were sufficient and has decided to close the case.