The Government is seeking a strategic investor who can raise $16 million to partner with in the divesture of ONATRACOM, the sole public transport company, The New Times learnt early this week. A public transport policy released in October indicates that for the Phase One of the restructuring plan to be implemented, a total of 162 high-occupancy standard buses are required, of which the struggling ONATRACOM may provide 62 through revamping of its old fleet while a private operator would have to spend about $16 million. Lately, the company has been in the news for mismanagement and financial problems. Other documents availed to The New Times also indicate the company is operating with a thin cash flow of Rwf123 million, which is only 1.4 per cent of operating costs – vehicle depreciation costs excluded.
Elsewhere, Bank Populaire put rumours to rest and reassured its clients that their deposits were safe in the wake of the resignation of former Chief Executive Officer, Herman Klaassen and his deputy José Habimana. In an exclusive interview with The New Times, the Bank’s Chairman Board of Directors, Afrique Ramba said the bank’s board was confident the new acting CEO, Paul Van Apeldoorn, had the capacity to run the bank.
Renowned cultural songster, Cécile Kayirebwa has been in the news not for musical reasons but rather, for legal reasons. Kayirebwa filed a lawsuit at the Commercial High Court against local radio stations, including Rwanda Office of Information (ORINFOR) for illegally airing her music without her permission! You can call it piracy. Kayirebwa’s lawyer appeared in court last week accusing ORINFOR, Voice of Africa, Contact FM, Flash FM, City Radio and Isango Star of pirating her music, seeking compensation of close to Rwf300 million. Rwf300 million!
Away from lawsuits, the committee that is committed to tracking down genocide fugitives residing in France, Collectif des Parties Civiles Pour le Rwanda (CPCR), said the French government is not fully committed to bringing to justice genocide fugitives on its soil, a French activist association said. It believes that over 25 individuals who participated in massacres during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi go about their business in the European country with no fear of being arrested.
“France has become a haven for genocide criminals, who have become so influential because of their financial power that the Government and the public no longer mind about them and their activities,” Alain Gauthier, the president of CPCR, said in an interview with The New Times. Gauthier was in Kigali seeking testimonies from witnesses and victims on particular genocide suspects in France, whose names he preferred to keep confidential on grounds of professional investigations. He observed that the French government’s position in 1994 may be the cause of its reluctance to pursue genocide fugitives, adding that France should move on from the past.