Rwanda: Commuters feel pain of new travel ban

Wednesday January 13 2021
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A passenger swipes her electronic card topay her travel in a public bus in Kigali. PICTURE | CYRIL NDEGEYA


Commuters were last week left stranded following a Cabinet decision that restricted movement between Kigali and other provinces to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Those affected include small businesses that depend on daily imports of stock from the city.

On January 4, the Cabinet issued stringent measures to contain the spread of the virus, among them prohibiting movement to and from the city of Kigali.

Public buses are not allowed to cross from one district to another, thus leaving many travellers stranded as some of them had travelled during the festive season.

“I was going to the west, in Karongi district, I have learnt that Cabinet resolutions banned these travels after arriving here,” Emmanuel Ndayiragije told Rwanda Today from Nyabugogo bus terminal.

According to a survey by Rwanda Today, small businesses that largely rely on public transportation have been grounded.


Daniel Manizabayo was been forced to pay Rwf15,000 on private transport to Muhanga district; the journey that normally costs him about Rwf1,000. “I have been using public transport for my goods from Nyabugogo bus terminal to Muhanga district, but following the decision banning inter-district travel, we are forced to seek other alternatives, which might be costly as well,” said Manizabayo.

The traders said the fare increment will be passed to the final consumers as the prices of various commodities could be increased.

“To transport vegetables from Musanze district to Nyabugogo, we have been ferrying our commodities on public buses and we pay as little as Rwf3,000 for three bags that car fit in the boot of the car but now you have to hire private transport,” said Daniel Nshimiyimana, a vegetable dealer in Nyabugogo market.