Who owns Rayon Sport?

After partying company with former club chairman and Contact Fm proprietor Albert Rudatsimburwa, there have been mixed reactions and speculations on who owns six-time league champions Rayon Sport.
Bonnie Mugabe
Bonnie Mugabe

After partying company with former club chairman and Contact Fm proprietor Albert Rudatsimburwa, there have been mixed reactions and speculations on who owns six-time league champions Rayon Sport.

In an exclusive interview with club Secretary General, Olivier Gakwaya clearly confirmed that the Blues are currently owned by Imena group.

Imena group is a committee of Rayon Sport members, former club presidents, honorary presidents drawn together to solely devote their guidance and resources to the blues.

Gakwaya told Times Sport, “Imena group is composed of so many members that i cant mention all of them,”

“Even Rudatsimburwa is part of the Imena group. This group is the one handling the day to day management of the club,”

Gakwaya listed some of the influential figures that compose Imena group include; former president Paul Muvunyi, Ronger Rumongi, Paul Ruhamyambuga, Hadji Mudaheranwa Youssouf and KBS Chairman, Charles Ngarambe to mention but a few.

According to Gakwaya, this group is charged with any need that arises in the club most espacially at this time when the club has been hit with financial and administration crisis.

“They are have handled players’ salaries and everything has been sorted out. Very soon, they will decide on who will be replace Rudastimburwa as the chairman of the club,”

“Then after a general assembly will be convened to approve or refute the chosen candidate,” added Gakwaya.

Rudatsimburwa said recently that he will continue to work closely with Imena to in handling certain issues pertaining to the club.

“I am not moving of Rayon Sport. We have decided that the management of the club be left to Imena which i am part of and my assistance to the club will continue to pass through this channel,” added Rudatsimburwa.

Last year, Rudatsimburwa signed a seven-year deal to take over Rwanda’s most supported football club.

In the deal, Rudatsimburwa was mandated to remit 30% of profits to the club which would put on a savings account.

According to Rudatsimburwa, the club’s monthly budget of Frw9m would also be increased to Frw12m due to more staff that will come in.

One year down the road, Imena decided to remove Rudatsimburwa from the post after he failed to fulfill his promises which included among other things paying the club’s outstanding debts and monthly salaries for players which have been of recent being cleared by Imena.

History of Rayon Sport

Rayon Sports FC was born in Nyanza in Southern Province of Rwanda. The name Rayon Sports was updated in 1967 alongside other names which included; Inkuba Sports” (that is to say, “Thunderbolts Sports”) and “Imirabyo sports” (ie say “Lightnings Sports”). The name was proposed by Canon Ernotte, director of the College of Christ the King. Among the principal founders of the team who were also players at that time included Donat Murego, Kabalisa Fatikaramu Palatine and Raphael.

Rayon Sport was officially approved as a football club by the Ministerial Decree No 72/01/just of 25/05/1968.

Sekinanka, the coach whose reputation exceeded Nyanza, had initiated a technical game without having been to a school known for football.

They had three tactical formations which included; Whirlwind, Dyna and Kagoma.

The first tournament in which Rayon Sports fans recalled was way back in Nyanza in a communal event that took place in Gishamvu, the former prefecture of Butare in 1968.

This was their first team squad:  Assiel Murinde, Munyemana Ismail (Rochereau), Donat Murego, Elijah (Soceco) Kagabo, Ladisla Athansius, Kalisa (Nyirurugo), Celestin Munyarunyonga, Anthony Kayitare, John Mbaraga, Godsend Muyange, Fatikaramu Raphael, Francois-Xavier Gasana, Appolinaire Nsengiyumva, Telesfore Niyibizi, Silas Ruterabna, Dr. Michel Startone, Baranaby Ntaganda, John Gasana and Adrian Suruvumba. Their coach was Aloys Sekinanka.

In 1976, Rayon Sports won his first Cup championship. On July 5, 1978, Rayon Sports experienced a humiliating 1-5 defeat to Mukura and this has remained in minds of every blues fan.

In 1979, Rayon Sports won the first Cup which was dubbed “Trophy President Habyarimana”. Rayon Sport beat Black Panthers 3-1 in the final.

On July 5, 1980, Rayon Sports won the trophy again beating Black Panthers 2-1.

In 1981, Rayon Sports won for the second time Cup championship.

On July 5, 1982, Rayon Sports finally won the trophy by beating Black Panthers 1-0.

In 1982, Rayon Sports participated for the first time in African champions’ cup. The blues lost 1-3 away to Vital’O of Burundi and won 1-0 in the second leg in Kigali but bowed out of the competition.

Former Rayon Sport club presidents

Faustin Bacar
Paul Ruhamyambuga
Rongin Rumongi
Col (Rtd). Ludovic Twahirwa Dodo
Dr. Rwagacondo
Paul Muvunyi
Senator Valens Munyabagisha
Albert Rudatsimburwa


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