Musanze Fc striker Peter Otema known as Peter Kagabo and AS Kigali forward Mushingirwa Kibengo Jimmy commonly known as Mbaraga Jimmy are among players who have been officially given Rwandan Nationality.
The duo alongside coach Lomami Marcel and SC Kiyovu striker Lomami Andre and Mukura VS striker Ciza Mugabo Hussein were on Monday sworn by the Rwandan Immigration Office as Rwandan citizens.
Kagere who missed the swearing in ceremony held at Kigali City Council is also eligible to Rwandan citizenship once he has sworn in which is expected to be done in the next two weeks in Kigali or at Rwanda’s embassy in Kenya.
Speaking to media on Monday, Peter Otema said, “I am so happy for at least being able to be called a full Rwandan. I have fought for this day and today I have got, this is all due to patience. In order to achieve anything, you must fight for it,”
“I urge other players who were in my position to gather all their documents and take them to Rwanda Immigration. What they think cant happen will happen, they just have to be patient and confident in presenting their case,” added Otema.
In 2014, Rwandan Football Association (FERWAFA) introduced a new policy that made all naturalised players ineligible for the national team, regardless of whether they had fulfilled the correct criteria.
The decision was in reaction to the confusion that saw Amavubi disqualified from the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifiers because they had a Congolese-born player in their ranks.
Striker Daddy Birori was part of the Rwandan team that beat Congo 4-3 on penalties in their second-round two-legged tie and had been playing for the Rwandan national side since 2009.
He held a Rwandan passport but was born in Congo. However, he also held a second passport under the name Etekiama Agiti Tady, the name under which he was registered for club football with DRC-based club AS Vita.
An investigation revealed that when Birori was called up to the Rwandan team, it was under the name Tady Birori, which indicated FERWAFA knew that the forward had not fully met the requirements to play for Rwanda.
Not only was the result overturned, which allowed Congo, the country of Birori’s birth, to enter the group stages of the ANC qualifiers at Rwanda’s expense, but the player was also banned for two years for maintaining a dual identity.