KAYONZA- Cyclists in Kayonza town have protested the district’s decision to ban the use of bicycles in the town centre.
The authorities announced the ban recently after an increase in bicycle related road accidents.
While enforcing the ban, local defence under the directive of district authorities confiscated all bicycles riding around the town. The owners were asked to pay a fine of Rwf10,000 before repossessing their bicycles.
“Confiscation of bicycles is not a good option, since most of them cannot afford to pay the fine anyway.” Emmanuel Mbonigaba, a resident of Kayonza said. “It is true that bicycles have been causing accidents, but a better way to go about it should be forged.”
Samuel Nyirimigabo one of the cyclists who was a victim of the ban argued that the enforcement of the ban was done without logic.
“Imagine some body going about his normal chores such as transporting a bundle of firewood being subjected to arrest by the local defence personnel,” Nyiramigabo said.
Emmanuel Gasekende, the head of the local defence personnel in the area acknowledged an error in enforcement of the ban. He said that there was a miscommunication between the district authorities and local defence.
“The initial order seemed to have called for a blanket ban on all bicycles. But, in actual sense we were only supposed to deal with bicycle taxis.” Gasekende said. “Those whose bicycles were wrongly seized, are now getting them back,” he said.
Authorities, say on average two cyclists are involved in accidents every day in Kayonza district.