Motorcycle taxis (Taxi-Moto) have become a phenomenon on the continent and the region as a whole. They are a cheap mode of transport, convenient and the answer to the ever growing traffic jams.
In some countries, they are synonymous with crime as they are ideal for quick getaways and are viewed with suspicion.
In Rwanda, the crime levels among Taxo-Moto operators is considered low, save for the occasional handbag snatching in isolated areas. But they are a constant traffic menace.
They tend to violate traffic lights at will and the traffic police seem powerless by the riders’ indiscipline. With half of the over 20,000 Taxi-Motos operating in Kigali, effective control seems to have eluded the many Taxi-Moto cooperatives and associations.
So it is not surprising that the issue of the management of the motorcycle operators has reached parliament. Mismanagement, corruption and lack of transparency among the motorcycle leadership have been brought to the fore.
The main reason behind the imbroglio is that the many groups of operators are not coordinated. Each cooperative has its own set of rules and, if they are not brought under one roof, the current problems will forever be present.
Taxi-Motos have become a savior to many young people seeking to earn a living. They have contributed a lot in reducing unemployment and idleness that are usually the catalysts in crime.
So the government should look at the underlying problems among Taxi-Moto operators under new light. Since they play a vital part in our economy, no energy should be saved in bringing them back in line urgently.