KIGALI - The commuter transport association, ATRACO, is set to undergo restructuring in order to be transformed into a profit-making entity.
This was revealed yesterday at a meeting that published the findings from an inquiry into the alleged mismanagement of the association.
The adhoc committee that examined the association was put in place following President Kagame’s visit to Nyabugogo Taxi Park in May.
At the meeting, some members of the association had expressed disappointment at how the leaders of the association were mistreating them, which prompted the President to appoint a steering committee to coordinate the inquiry into the allegations.
The association is currently headed by Col. (Rtd) Ludovic Twahirwa alias Dodo.
Speaking at the meeting, the Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, said that there was need to restructure ATRACO and turn it into an organized entity inline with the current national policies. This, according to him, would help in ending the problems in the organisation.
He however said that the association’s image was not as had been presented during the meeting, though there were some hiccups.
“It was found out that there were some anomalies in the management of the association, though it was not as alarming as some complainants had made it sound,” said Musoni, adding that the restructuring would help the organisation to get back on track and become beneficial to its members.
The association, which has 1,684 members, has in the past been marred by counter-accusations between members and the leadership of the association.
According to the findings of the committee, it was established that what some members take as membership fee is actually parking fee.
“Many individuals have been granted terminals to operate within ATRACO without however, being members. This has been interpreted as becoming members yet there are stipulated conditions that one has to fulfill before becoming a member,” said Patrick Mwesigye, the head of the adhoc committee.
The committee explained that article 34 of internal regulations stipulates that every member has to make a contribution of Rwf3,000 per month. However, this has never been effected and operators have been taking the daily parking fee as contribution.
Regarding allocation of resources, the findings revealed that ATRACO did not have budget plans for its expenditures and as such, much of its funds were injected in the purchase of unbudgeted plots of land and construction of taxi parks.
This pushed them to secure long term loans from banks regardless of the daily and monthly operation expenses.
Members were also granted loans worth over Rwf250 million by Bank Populaire where ATRACO stood as their guarantor without having security.
Today, majority of these have failed to meet their payment obligations prompting the bank to freeze every amount of money deposited on the association’s principal account.
In efforts to help restructure the organisation, the adhoc committee will recruit a consultancy firm to work on the restructuring and evaluating the association’s assets and liabilities.
A census of the actual members of the association will also be carried out. This will facilitate the distribution of assets and liabilities after the transformation of ATRACO into a profit making entity.