Insecurity In Kenya: Boda Boda Bandits Terrorizing Motorists and Business Owners

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In the wake of so much insecurity in the country, especially from the Alshabaab, plenty has been overlooked. Boda bodas have fast increased and become a common method of transport for many Kenyans. They are convenient and a fast way to get you where you need to go.

Recently there have been waves of attacks by young thugs aboard boda bodas terrorizing both motorists and business owners. This has been a definite concern to many Kenyans. A recent viral video on the internet and social media depicted two men on a boda boda following a vehicle and when it stops, they rob the occupants and flee.

Many people have watched these videos and concluded that boda boda people are not to be trusted! In the words of Mr Ciuri, a local business man that has encountered these people but managed to escape many times said;

“How can we handle the Al Shabaab when such petty thievery goes unpunished?”

I spoke to Tosh, a Cyber Café owner in Kariobangi South who narrated his terrifying ordeal to me.

“It was an evening like any other, and flow of clients was the same. Most came to browse, and others to play GTA. There were four jamaaz that seemed like normal clients browsing. At around 9.00 p.m, they struck. Pointed their guns at me and the clients around. They took laptops, external hard disks, phones, silver chains and cash. As they left, they shot in the air and all four got on a waiting boda boda and fled.”

According to Tosh, he has lost all trust in boda boda operators and has become more conscious of who comes in and out if the café.


Is this evidence that boda boda operators are the main bandits of Kenya? Does this mean that none can be trusted? Do the police even pay attention to this new wave of crime?

We sought to speak to a boda boda operator that we shall name Kamau for security purposes,

“Some of us are threatened and others do it voluntarily. The amount of money I make in a day is not enough to sustain me and my family and Lord forgive me but a man has to do, What a man has to do.”

He also explained that these young men offered security for their fleets. Another operator defended the boda boda people saying;

“ Si kila mtu ako na pikipiki wa boda boda. Hawa wezi wako na pesa ya kununua hizi vitu. Na wanatuharibia jina sana. Hata kupata customer imekua shida.”

The police have remained mum on the matter but they should enhance vigilance to secure the streets of Kenya.

Have you experienced anything like this? Let us know below.

By @cynthiatuts

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