On Sunday, July 23, Augustine Kayinamura boarded a commercial motorcycle (taxi moto) from downtown Kigali en route to Nyabugogo. Unfortunately, along the way, the motorcycle was involved in an accident when it was hit by a coaster bus.
Although the motorcyclist, identified as Donat Ndayiramiye was left unhurt, Kayinamura sustained injuries, and was rushed to the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK).
The victim was unconscious, and thus couldn’t maintain grip on a manila envelope he held in his hand at the time of the accident.
The motorcyclist did not know what was in the envelope but felt a sense of duty to protect it in trust of his injured passenger.
The envelope contained Rwf5.2 million.
“When the accident occurred, and I realised that my passenger was unconscious, I rushed to protect his envelope, even as I initially did not know what it contained,” said Ndayiramiye.
“There scene was overcrowded with onlookers and medical personnel, who had arrived with the ambulance, and I realised that if I don’t act fast, the envelope would vanish,” he adds.
“To be very sure of what I was securing, I checked the envelope, only to realise that it was full of cash. This is just a passenger I got from the city centre, I didn’t know his final destination nor his next of kin,” says the motorcyclist.
Ndayiramiye’s only way to ensure the money is well protected and returned to the owner or his family was through the Police.
“I decided to declare the money to traffic police officers at the scene. I am always driven by doing the right thing. It was very easy to take this money, and probably get away with it, but you have to remember that someone is also counting on that money for survival in the same way my family is also counting on this motorcycle business for survival,” the father of one said.
He advised fellow motorcyclists to always be straightforward, honest and trustworthy in their business.
According to the spokesperson for the traffic and road safety department, Chief Inspector of Police Emmanuel Kabanda, the money has since been handed over to the victim’s family.
“The owner and family members were very happy when we gave them the money; they had no hope that they would recover it, and they sincerely appreciated the motorcyclist for being a man of integrity,” Kabanda said.
“This motorcyclist exhibited exemplary and honest behaviour, which others should emulate. His actions exemplify the high standards that we expect of every citizen,” Kabanda said.
“The motorcyclist could have opted for a risky path of taking the money; of course, we would have eventually arrested him but the story would be different. But, in a responsible way, he protected and returned the money, and even made sure that he gives it to the right people,” said Kabanda.
Meanwhile, police have appealed to the public to desist from carrying large sums of money and to adopt modern electronic means of safe money transactions.