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Cablegate: City Government Rescinds Motorcycle Ban

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DE RUEHLGB #0868 2500803
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 070803Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3212
INFO RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 1541
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0735
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1440
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0108
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0586
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0127

UNCLAS KIGALI 000868

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL RW
SUBJECT: CITY GOVERNMENT RESCINDS MOTORCYCLE BAN

REF: KIGALI 836

1. (U) The Kigali City Council on Monday September 4
rescinded its two-week ban on motorcycle taxis. Operating
under new licensing requirements, the motorcycles began to
return to city streets in small numbers. Each operator is
now required to register with his local cell (the
next-to-lowest political subdivision in Rwanda), obtain an
operator's permit, and wear a proper uniform and helmet.
Mayor Aisa Kaycira told us September 5 that the City Council
stood ready to re-ban the motorcycles if the operators did
not abide by rules of conduct agreed in joint sessions with
the police and City Council.

2. (U) Comment. While the Mayor stands by her story (of an
intentionally brief halt to motorcycle taxis) the City
Council appears to have belatedly realized it had angered
poorer residents and brought much criticism upon itself
(reftel). The intensity of criticism seems to have caught
the Council by surprise. Rumors of Presidential involvement
in the ban and/or its rescission appear to be just that;
contacts at the presidency dismissed the idea that President
Kagame would involve himself in a mundane municipal issue.
End comment.
ARIETTI

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