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Prominent Journalist calls for boda-boda regulation to reduce accidents

Author: Lasuba Memo | Published: Thursday, December 21, 2023

Boda-Boda riders on the streets of Juba conduct safety awareness of Boda-Boda riders in campaign dubbed “Ride for Peace, “Ride for Safety,” on 28th March 2018. (Photo: UNMISS.

A prominent South Sudanese journalist has called for the regulation of boda-boda in Juba to reduce traffic accidents.

John Tanza, the Managing Editor of the Voice of America South Sudan in Focus sounded the alarm on Tuesday during the requiem mass for the late Charlton Doki.

The former VOA Coordinator and Editor at the Juba bureau died last Thursday in a traffic accident.

Tanza says the government should act firmly to save South Sudanese from the Boda Boda menace.

He called on the media industry to hold accountable the authorities.

” My only appeal to my colleagues in the media industry. Let us work and fight this animal called boda-boda. This Industry has killed more people in this city,” said John Tanza.

“It is a challenge to us to hold the people who are supposed to regulate this industry to account,” he said.

Doki was aboard a motorcycle when he fell off and later succumbed to fatal head injuries at Juba Teaching Hospital following a crash along Munuki-Bilpam road.

In his remark, Tanza said many people have died due to boda-boda accidents in the city while citing Doki as the second journalist to have died after Radio Bakhita’s news editor, Simon Tangun in 2013 due to a similar incident accident.

“Charlton is the second VOA journalist to die in the boda-boda accident, the first one was Simon, who was killed in Sherikaat in 2013,” he said.

He said the industry has to be regulated to do what he describes as clean businesses to reduce traffic accidents in Juba

“We need to do something to regulate this business. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be in business, but I’m saying they should be regulated to do clean business, ” he added.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the government, Hellen  Pita, a  member of the national pension fund who is also a close relative of the late Doki, called for the enactment of laws to protect media practitioners, citing their lives at risk.

“On behalf of the government, I think the government should put proper laws to protect the media people because the media is at risk in South Sudan. We need to tighten the law; my son is a journalist, but I also fear.”

Mrs Pita also appealed to media houses to provide safe transport means to journalists to avoid a repeat of what happened to the late Doki.

Recently, the Inspector General of Police, General Atem Marol ordered the compulsory use of helmets by boda-boda riders and passengers in a bid to reduce fatalities.

It’s not clear if the order is strictly being enforced.

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