10 January 2013

Rwanda: Police Stop Seizing Motorcycles

The Police have stopped the dreaded one -month seizure of motorcycles found violating traffic rules.

The Police Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, Felly Bahizi Rutagerura, said the decision was taken to remove the transport-related obstacles for motorcyclists.

Chief Superintendent Bahizi was speaking at a meeting with motorcyclists at Nyamirambo regional stadium on Tuesday. The meeting was also attended by the Kigali City Mayor, Fidele Ndayisaba.

Bahizi said impounding motorcycles crippled the ability of motorcyclists to generate income.

"The government promotes labour and job creation, we do not want to be an obstacle to this," he said, adding that motorcyclists who will be found breaking the rules will receive other punishments such as fines.

The president of the motorcyclists' association, SYTRAMORWAS, Evode Nzitunga, welcomed the decision, saying it is highly appreciated.

Other decisions in favour of motorcyclists include the easing of issuing licences acquisition.

However, Bahizi warned that motorcyclists who flout rules risk paying Rwf10,000 in fine.

Mayor Ndayisaba, for his part, cited disrespect of zebra crossings and traffic lights. He warned that such culprits will be tracked down.

"I want to tell you that foreigners come here to learn how organised and disciplined you are," the mayor told the motorcyclists. "You should uphold that."

He also urged them to improve their hygiene so as not to upset their clients.

There are currently 11,000 motorcyclists in Kigali City.

The motorcyclists complained of high-handed police officers, prompting Bahizi to ask them to report the officers to him.

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