As part of the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus disease, the governor of the province of Kinshasa, Gentiny Ngobila, had taken, on Monday, a decree imposing, among other measures, the obligation for transporters to embark in their vehicles only half of the normal number of passengers that the said vehicles are capable of taking. However, faced with the heavy consequences of this decision, the governor was quick to reverse it.
On Wednesday evening, the governor of Kinshasa, Gentiny Ngobila, in agreement with General Sylvano Kasongo, head of the police of the Congolese capital, decided to suspend the measure of 50% of passengers on board public transport vehicles. Indeed, in the framework of the reinforcement of the prevention measures against the Coronavirus, the governor of Kinshasa took, on Monday 21 June 2021, a decree in which he imposed to the drivers of public transport vehicles to take only half of the total capacity in passengers’ seats. In other words, the vehicles will only be filled to 50% of their capacity.
However, the implementation of this decision has had serious consequences: to avoid losses, some transporters preferred to park their vehicles altogether; those who did drive had to almost double the cost of transport. All this forced many people to do their shopping on foot. In short, public transport was almost totally paralysed throughout the day in Kinshasa.
These inconveniences observed during the day led the authorities to hold an emergency meeting in the evening to assess the situation. This meeting resulted in the decision to suspend the measure limiting the number of passengers on board vehicles. « We have just returned from a meeting attended by the governor. It was decided that from Thursday onwards, only the wearing of masks is compulsory in public transport vehicles. We must not forget that the police will not tolerate people standing in vehicles. Everyone must be seated. The police will no longer check for compliance with 50%, » said Kinshasa police chief Sylvano Kasongo.
Regarding motorbike taxis, the decision to have them carry only one passenger is maintained.