Rwanda government said it is in the process to revolutionalise operations of motorcycle cooperatives in order to enhance their contribution to social-economic development of the country.
According to a survey conducted by KTPress in 2015, Rwanda motor taxi business was found to be contributing $1billion to Rwandan economy.
Statistics from FERWACOTAMO,an organization for 240 motor taxi cooperatives across the country indicated that by 2015 there are 78,000 known members.
The government is currently reviewing existing laws to streamline operations and strengthen their regulations, promote compliance and expand motorcycle federations.
The Minister of Trade and Industry Vincent Munyeshyaka said Tuesday during a consultative meeting with heads of motorcycle cooperatives across the country.
The meeting held at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru was also attended by the State Minister in charge of Transport, Eng. Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, Director General of RURA, Patrick Nyirishema and Joseph Nzakunda, the Ag. Director General of Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA).
Minister Munyeshyaka said that the recent assessments indicate “extreme cases of indiscipline” from members of motorcycle cooperatives, failures of their leadership and embezzlement of members’ funds.
In a presentation, Commissioner for Traffic and Road, Commissioner of Police (CP) Rafiki Mujiji said that about 57 per cent of commercial motorcyclists operate illegally without transport operating license issued by RURA.
CP Mujiji also said that 79 accidents registered between January and March involved motorcyclists leading to 40 fatalities.
According to Minister Munyeshyaka, this is a “worrying situation” the requires immediate response.
The State Minister, Eng. Uwihanganye also reiterated the need for stringent and immediate measures against deadly behaviors of motorcyclists.
It was, however, resolved that security personnel in cooperatives be immediately disbanded and replaced with someone in-charge of discipline.
On poor leadership, participants resolved to hold fresh elections for new office bearers during the third and fourth week of April.
IGP Gasana, said force will also conduct assessment on misappropriation of funds in motorcycle cooperatives to ensure all embezzled funds are returned and those found culpable prosecuted.
“Amidst challenges and demands, motorcycle cooperatives, if they operate well, contribute to development, reduce issues of road insecurity,” IGP Gasana said.
RURA’ Nyirishema appealed to motorcyclists to utilize the existing ICT platforms to register their business for prompt issuance of transport license.
Members welcome proposed changes
Members welcomed ideas of electing new leadership, which they said will address the current impasse in the co-operatives.
Alphose Gatana from Nyagatare said that the proposals were long overdue.
“We welcome the proposals by authorities, the current interim leadership has not solved our problems and we believe the new management will bring positive changes” Gatana said.
Vedaste Ngendahayo from Huye said that the new leadership should be able to resolve issues of financial misappropriation and embezzlement, ensure transparency and curb indiscipline of rogue members.
‘We want to ensure proper financial management system through compliance with financial accountability and transparency in co-operative management, which the current leadership is not providing… our members have noted benefited from their contributions,” Ngendahayo noted.