By Steve Vidonyi
Boda boda cyclists in Likuyani Sub County, Kakamega County have finally agreed to join savings and credit co-operative societies (Saccos).
At least five Saccos have been registered and commissioned in less than two months, in a move aimed at economically empowering members of the boda boda sector.
The sector has been difficult to bring on board Saccos, and regulate, because it has not been easy to organize its members into groups. Besides, most of them have been strongly opposed to anything that would see them part with cash.
However, lately Members of Country Assemblies (MCAs) have stepped up campaigns to ensure all boda boda operators join Saccos which they say, would also help regulate the sector that has been infiltrated by criminal gangs.
Leading the move is the Leader of Majority Kakamega County Assembly who is also Kongoni MCA, Robert Makhanu, Sinoko Ward counterpart Hilton Luvai and nominated MCA Florence Masika.
Apart from funding registration of boda boda Saccos, they have gone a notch higher and sponsored driving lessons for close to 600 members.
It’s believed the Sub-County alone has over 1,000 motorcyclists plying different routes with an average daily income of Sh1,500.
The latest to be commissioned is SIMANZO Sacco which brings together riders from Sinoko Ward. Those commissioned earlier were; 30 Brothers Sacco-Nzoia, Likuyani Boda Boda Sacco, Gifted Boda Boda Sacco and Sango Boda Boda Saccos.
The “bodas” have started on a high note, with two of them conducting harambees to purchase commuter vehicles.
Kakamega County Commissioner of Co-operatives Nathan Mukhweso lauded the move to form Saccos but called on the officials to comply with the law, especially, the one requiring wealth declaration within 30 days of election into office.
‘If you steal members’ funds, we shall sell your property to recover the last penny whether you are alive or dead,” Mukhweso warned.
The Commissioner appealed to Sacco management committee officials, to use their positions prudently and to avoid mismanagement.
Simanzo Sacco Patron who is also the Sinoko MCA Hilton Luvai said members would be trained in road safety and assisted to acquire driving licences.
The MCA said he would personally sponsor 300 members in driving lessons, at the rate of 100 people every financial year, in order to minimize accidents caused by ignorance.
Luvai said motorcyclists stood to benefit immensely through Saccos than as individuals as it would be easy to access loans, which would foster rapid development and stop dependency on politicians for handouts.
Simanzo Sacco Chairperson Mark Imbwaka and his Sango counterpart Nelson Masika believe Saccos would make members’ lives decent and also assist them take their children to school.