In an unprecedented move, Sadate Munyakazi, the President of Rayon Sports Association, under which Rayon Sports Football Club was founded, has suspended all member fan clubs in a move aimed at ending months of misunderstandings that have left the fans divided.
Munyakazi, who is facing stiff opposition from a section of the association members, which includes some of the senior members and former club heads, in a letter released on Monday said that all club members and organs have been temporarily suspended, except the Executive Committee which he heads, which will lead the legal reforms.
In what could be a major blow to opposing members, Munyakazi’s move was backed by Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), which in May confirmed him as the legal representative of the association to end weeks of a standoff, which nearly saw Munyakazi deposed by opposing clubs.
The decision to temporarily dissolve all memberships of the association came just when he was under pressure to convene a general assembly in which his critics were plotting to move a vote of no confidence in him. The dissolution of members ultimately means that there won’t be a general assembly.
“Based on a letter No. 69 / RGB / CEO / PPs & CSD / 2020 written by the CEO of Rwanda Governance (RGB), I am writing to inform you that all membership levels of the Rayon Sports Association have been suspended from today, August 10, 2020, except for the Executive Committee,” Munyakazi wrote
“Except for the level of the Executive Committee of the Association, all other bodies in the Rayon Sports Association have been suspended until the amendment to the Constitution of the Association, which will determine and put relevant bodies in place,” he added.
In an RGB letter to Rayon Sports on 07/08/2020, the country’s governance body, which has associations under its mandate, called on Munyakazi to suspend all members of the Rayon Sports community, and to put on hold the impending General Assembly until the statutes of the association are revised to address the current challenges.
The RGB letter came at a time when members of Rayon Sports Association were putting Munyakazi under pressure to convene an extraordinary General Assembly to address the ongoing challenges which have plagues the club and the fans.
In her letter dated August 7, the CEO of RGB, Dr Usta Kayitesi said that RGB took note of events in Rayon Sports and a report of activities between May 29 and June 27, urging Muyakazi to liquidate all members of the association and review the statute.
“We would like to inform you that in addition to the day-to-day management of the organization, especially the health of Rayon Sports Football Club, all other organs in the Rayon Sports Association have been suspended until the constitution is amended, after which you can consider new organs which are legally recognised,” the RGB letter stated.
“You are required not to convene the General Assembly as long as the statute is being amended and improved to address the ongoing challenges in Rayon Sports,” Dr. Kayitesi advised.
The development means that Munyakazi is not in full control of the situation but the opposing group, led by former club honchos, Paul Muvunyi, Dr Emile Rwagacondo, Chance Denis Gacinya and Ntampaka Théogène are likely not to relent.
“We are now going to write to the President of the Republic to intervene in this situation because clearly RGB has taken sides in this matter,” one of the senior members of the club said, adding that legally, the Executive Committee would not exist for an association which has no members.
Infighting within the club has left Rwanda’s most supported club in turmoil, with fans taking sides, with one side backing Munyakazi while majority of the fan clubs are behind the old guard, who until Munyakazi’s reign controlled the goings-on in the club.