Two years after Kigali City Council (KCC) launched its twenty four hour working campaign, the operation is still facing several constraints that have limited its set objectives.
The city launched the campaign as part of its centenary celebrations in 2007 with a sole aim of promoting hard work among members of the Rwandan business community.
In an interview The New Times yesterday, there were mixed reactions from different business people with many saying that they close as early as - between 6:00pm and 7:00pm.
While some of them suggest that city authorities should double sensitization efforts about the operation, others are of the view that the ongoing financial crisis has directly affected the working hours.
“I close my shop by 6:00pm. Even If I opened longer than that, I cannot get clients,” says Christine Uwingabire, a business woman dealing in electronic appliances on Commercial Street.
She also attributes this to lack of transport back home especially after 9:00pm.
The operation was also launched in the spirit of increasing the competitiveness of Rwandan business people to enable them match with their counterparts in the other partner states of the East African Community (EAC).
Another businessman dealing in optical services along the busy street said that the increment in interest rates by banks and stringent conditions that go with loan applications today, have led to less money in circulation thereby causing a low consumer power among many Rwandans.
“Things have changed lately. There is less liquidity and this is one of the reasons that lead to people closing their shops much earlier than it used to be,” said the businessman, who preferred to remain anonymous.
For Ruth Mutesi who operates a Supermarket that deals in food stuffs along Commercial Street, she only works past 9:00pm on Fridays, which she says is the only day she gets many clients.
Contacted yesterday, the KCC Public Relations Officer Bruno Rangira, confirmed that the operation is still not yet effective as city authorities want to it to be, but hastened to add that efforts are underway to remove many pending constraints.
“There is a change in trend now. The operation is not moving at the pace we want, but we shall continue to sensitize people,” Rangira, said
The KCC publicist added that the city’s master plan will also go a long way in promoting longer hours of work through its mixed land use system which will enforce that residential areas be built near commercial centres.