While since the morning of 17/10, there were scenes of jubilation from motorcyclists and taxi-bikers, who were jubilant because of a false report that the measure banning them from certain areas of the city of Bujumbura had been lifted, the Minister of Security came to anounce that the ban on access to certain areas of the economic capital of Burundi remains in place.
It was incredible scenes to see in the streets of Bujumbura. Especially in the northern part of the city. Hundreds of motorcyclists, tuk-tuk drivers and bicycle taxis had descended on the areas that have been off limits to them since March 2022.
The horns were blowing, the bells were ringing for the bikes, there was a general hubbub, a deafening effervescence. Some people were carrying up to three customers on their bikes, even though this is not allowed.
However, the scenes of popular jubilation did not last more than 40 minutes. Because in the aftermath, the police intervened in the streets to track them down and put them back in the areas they are allowed to be.
A communiqué was also released on the Twitter account of the Ministry in charge of security to remind that the perimeter forbidden to motorcyclists, taxi-bikes and tuk-tuk drivers is maintained. According to the police, the drivers of these vehicles took advantage of the call for a meeting of the Mayor of Bujumbura to reach places still prohibited.
It is clear from this that the decision to put these vehicles back on the roads is long overdue. The measure prohibiting them from reaching certain areas has been there since 21 March 2022.
This measure has been justified by the number of accidents caused by these vehicles on the public roads. The Prime Minister, Gervais Ndirakobuca, who was Minister in charge of security at the time, said that this measure must be observed regardless of its implications on the economy of the country and families: “The medicine is bitter but it must be consumed”, he insisted, while thousands of resigned motorcyclists, taxi-bike and tuktuk drivers who no longer had jobs in Bujumbura, had only to return to the countryside.