Discontent among motorcyclists

Special badges for paid transportation motorcycles and complete documents are some requirements of Muyinga province officials since last week. Drivers stand against that measure and claim for its suspension.



The ultimatum expired on 17 July. All motorbikes allocated in the paid transport of people in Muyinga north-eastern province ought to respect the measure. This is the compulsory use of vehicle documents required by the traffic and road safety police. They include driver’s license, registration card, insurance and technical inspection. It is also partly painted on the foreground, the rear and sides so as to distinguish the bikes used for the transport of persons from those making only business and promenade. According to Aline Manirabarusha, the Muyinga province governor, this recommendation is to maximize the safety and prevention measures as well as enforcing legislation, especially as the various required documents allow the government to increase revenue in the national treasury.

Bikers might refuse to comply with the measure

While the administration and police spoke of a strict adherence to these measures since 17 July 2016 for fear of battle with the recalcitrant, bikers consider this as a kind of injustice and threaten not to implement them. They indicate that the documents are very expensive and difficultly accessible. A motorcyclist met in Muyinga bike parking says: “It’s very difficult to have this multitude of documents. Some of them are obtained from Bujumbura City Council to the Burundi Revenue Authority- OBR, the common transport office -OTRACO and the ministry of commerce.”

For him, the distance between Muyinga province and Bujumbura is also long (over 200 km) what complicates the situation since they have to pay much money for both the trip and the operation.

He suggested that the police and administration advocate for the reduction in the number and cost of these documents as well as facilities to get them. “Some documents should be scaled down. A two-place motorcycle is paid for the same amount as a five-place taxi car for insurance and vehicle tax. It is unfair”, he concludes.

As for the painting of motorcycles, bikers indicate that the administration and police have imposed someone whose bid is extremely expensive. “It’s a minor work, but unfortunately expensive,” adds another motorcyclist met in the semi-urban center of Kobero area, at the Tanzania-Burundi border.
By Cyrille Niyongabo translated by Diane Uwimana