Prices had risen by the end of the lockdown, as buses could only be half-filled to respect social distance. Despite a slight drop on October 14, they remained above prices before the coronavirus crisis.
In Rwanda, the government on Wednesday night suspended a rise in transport prices that had sparked a wave of protests from the population on Twitter.
It was under the hashtag # RURA4transportfairness that internet users first challenged the Transport Regulatory Authority (RURA), then Parliament and finally the President.
While the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis hit the population hard, the rise in prices was seen as an injustice to the poorest.
“You have to understand that for the majority of Rwandans it is difficult to spend another 10 cents more. A decision that contradicts the reality of the most vulnerable is a dangerous decision,” tweets poet Inès Giramata, who with singer Clarisse Karasira , quickly joined the movement. Then Frank Habineza, one of the few opposition MPs, called on the radio to resign from the leaders of the transport authority if they did not lower prices.
Complaints finally heard by the authorities announcing the suspension of the new tariffs, pending the recovery of the economy. Meanwhile, the government should subsidize airlines to compensate for their losses. A decision is quickly welcomed on Twitter, which in recent years has become a platform where Rwandans express themselves on social issues.
Thank you @RURA_RWANDA for acknowledging our complaints. We have full confidence in you to find an optimal solution based on true justice and compassion for all parties involved. https://t.co/FS8y0unX4B
Clarisse Karasira (@ clarissekarasi1) October 18, 2020.