ATRACO undergoes restructuring

The commuter transport association, Atraco, has been restructured and transformed into a commercial entity. Problems in the association came to light when President Paul Kagame visited Nyabugogo Taxi Park mid last year.  At the meeting, some members of the association expressed disappointment on how the leaders of the association were mistreating them, which prompted the President to appoint a steering committee to coordinate an inquiry into the allegations.
Ludovic Twahirwa Dodo. The New Times Timothy Kisambira.
Ludovic Twahirwa Dodo. The New Times Timothy Kisambira.

The commuter transport association, Atraco, has been restructured and transformed into a commercial entity.

Problems in the association came to light when President Paul Kagame visited Nyabugogo Taxi Park mid last year.

At the meeting, some members of the association expressed disappointment on how the leaders of the association were mistreating them, which prompted the President to appoint a steering committee to coordinate an inquiry into the allegations.

The committee which was headed by the Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, came up with a proposal to restructure the association and allow members to hold shares.

The restructuring saw the association turn into several autonomous cooperatives around the country, twelve in all.

The cooperatives were also grouped into four unions which converge at the national level to make the Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperatives (RFTC).

Members of the federation met last week to elect the National Committee. Col. (rtd) Ludovic Twahirwa, alias Dodo, was elected to head the transporters federation, once again.

Dodo has been at the helm of Atraco for over a decade.

Others on the committee are; Francois Nsengiyumva, Alphonse Gahongayire, Ronald Muhawimana and Innocent Bizimungu.

In an interview with The New Times, Dodo said that the new structure will allow members to hold shares and gain financially unlike in the previous non-profit making status.

“This, I believe, marks the end of the rumblings among members. The financial gains will depend on how much every member pays as share capital in the cooperative,” said Twahirwa.

The association (Atraco) whose members were estimated to be around 1,600, last year, has, in the past, been marred accusaions and by counter-accusations between members and the leadership of the association over financial matters.

Emmanuel Nzabonimana, a commuter taxi driver plying the Kigali – Muhanga route, was optimistic about the new structure.

“I can say that this is a lot better than how Atraco was. Now I pay money knowing well that I am buying shares that will earn me profits in future,” he said, adding that the leadership structures in the cooperatives have also been designed to allow accountability to shareholders.

Dodo says that the assets and liabilities of the former association will now be taken over by RFTC. A census to establish actual members of the association will also be carried out soon.

Ends

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