EDITORIAL: Digital payments among taximotos best weapon against Covid-19

Just as we thought we were getting the better of the Covid-19 pandemic, some carelessness nearly threw us over the precipice.

Unlike in other countries where the major cities were the ones most affected by the virus, in Kigali it was the other way round. Authorities had managed to contain it at the points of entry, especially when it was discovered that the cluster of new infections was among cross-border truck drivers and that the epicentre was mostly Rusumo.


Now what many feared a few weeks ago is upon, us; the fear that a motorcycles taxi operator could be infected and pass it on to his or her unsuspecting passengers.


Taximoto operators would always be the weak link in the fight against the Coronavirus because of their legendary indiscipline. That is why authorities had instructed them to use mobile payments, but that did not rule out that some would readily accept a cash payment or that some passengers might not have access to a mobile phone.


The most difficult thing whenever a new infection is discovered is to identify all the possible contacts of the new victims.  Since a new threat has been found among taximotos, the most popular means of transport, it is now more than ever urgent that they only accept mobile payments.

Mobile payments leave behind a footprint and it would be easy to identify the taximoto’s passengers and take all the necessary measures. That will need to fully bring onboard players in the industry, especially the leadership of their cooperatives. They must rein in their members to make them aware that their reckless behaviour is a national threat and that it is in their powers to stop it.


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