Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), under instruction of the Ministry of Sports, has issued new recommendations to resolve internal wrangles within Rayon Sports Football Club, which will see the executive committee led by Sadate Munyakazi step aside immediately to allow new leadership to be put in place.
The rival side led by tycoon Paul Muvunyi, Charles Ngarambe and others will also not have a say in Rayon Sports reorganization to allow the new leadership to restore sanity at the embattled club without involving the warring sides.
Rwanda’s most supported club has been haunted by infighting between Munyakazi’s committee and club old timers and honorary members led by Muvuyi, Ngarambe and Dr. Claude Emile Rwagacondo, among others, who wanted Munyakazi out.
Three months after RGB had said that Munyakazi and his committee were the rightful legal representatives of the Rayon Sports Association, giving him an edge over his rivals, the governance body now says a thorough assessment of issues within the club found reasons to oust the current committee which is also part of the problem.
During a press conference at Kigali Arena by the Sports Minister Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju and the CEO of RGD Dr. Usta Kayitesi, it was revealed that conclusions of the assessment indicated that the current leadership and the rival side had to all step aside to allow a new transition after Munyakazi and co. failed to fulfil what they were required of.
“The main reason for our convening today is to give RGB as the regulatory body of associations to announce the findings of the assessment done in the issues affecting Rayon Sports,”
“The Ministry of Sports as the responsible institution has been closely working with RGB to ensure that the outcomes of this assessment are in line with the country’s vision for the development of sports, which is why we want to see Rayon Sports, as a club put behind its troubles for its development as a sports entity,” Munyangaju said.
Dr Kayitesi gave a background of issues, pointing out that on May 14 this year, Ngarambe wrote to RGB saying that the current committee was made up of imposters who are not the true legal representatives.
Few days later Munyakazi also wrote to RGB mentioning that his committee was the legal representative of Rayon Sports Association. On May 29, RGB confirmed that Mukakazi and co. were the legal representatives of Rayon Sports and gave them a month to put things in order.
“We gave them one month to submit all the necessary documents including revised statutes, financials and other management-related documents but they never did. Further assessment showed that Rayon Sports Association had many other problems,” Dr Kayitesi said.
Among other things, she mentioned that the Rayon Sports Association does not meet the requirements of associations, including having no annual action plan and budget. It was also found to have debts amounting to Rwf800, of which Rwf200m was obtained under Munyakazi’s tenure.
It was also found that Rayon Sports Association has two registered names, including one registered in 1968 and another one in 2003 when they apparently reformed but the changes were not reflected in decree and also has two different premises. It was also found to have 2 different logos.
There were issues discovered in the membership of the entity where over the others the composition of members has changed with no legal proof to support the changes, hence creating confusion. In 2013, only 46 fan clubs had been registered as members but others, which also claimed to be members, emerged.
The legal status too was found to be a contentious one, prompting RGB to decide that the warring sides need to step aside to allow a reform of the association which oversees the proper running of the football club. Among other things Rayon Sports Association was found to have 2 different headquarters.
Rayon Sport was also found to have asset management challenges as well as many debts dating back to 2013, including debts from loan sharks, commonly known as ‘Bank Lambert’ while the association cannot also account for funds accrued from donors as well as gate collections.
“Based on the findings, RGB reprimands Rayon Sport Association for failing to comply with the requirements. The existing Executive Committee of the Association is suspended because it has failed to fulfil its mandate in resolving the problems of the Association,”
“In order to maintain the activities of the association, the activities of Rayon Sport are temporarily delegated to the Transitional Committee. In the event that Rayon Sport fails to resolve the issues raised within a month (30 days), the provisions of Article 32 of the Non-Governmental Organizations Act will provide for the temporary suspension of the family,” RGB said in its resolutions.
RGB said the transfer of instruments of power between the existing committee and the transitional committee shall take place not later than 24/09/2020. The leaders of this transition will be identified before the transfer of power.
The embattled club has been embroiled in wrangles surrounding control of the association, with some fan clubs siding with Munyakazi, while others stuck with the old timers who were close to ousting Munyakazi until RGB that the committee he led was the true legal representative of the association, giving him a new lease on life.
Rayon Sports has been bogged down by financial problems in recent months, leading to an exodus of players and sponsors while it also faced issues of defaulting on its obligations despite Munyakazi’s promises to resolve the outstanding issues in the shortest time possible. The fate of the club now remains in the hands of the new management yet to be named.
President Paul Kagame on September 6, during an interview aired on Rwanda Television, said that he was aware of the issues in Rayon Sports, adding that he had instructed the Minister of Sports to look into Rayon Sports issues and find a solution as soon as possible.