Local Olympics body needs elections now

The personal feud between the Minister of Sports and Culture, Joseph Habineza and the president of the National Olympic Committee, Ignace Beraho, is evidently undermining Rwanda’s sporting scene, and if nothing is done pretty soon this tide will sink any hopes of our sports sector ever developing to its full potential. Yesterday, we reported how the Minister hounded Beraho out of a high level crisis meeting at the ministry’s headquarters. 

The personal feud between the Minister of Sports and Culture, Joseph Habineza and the president of the National Olympic Committee, Ignace Beraho, is evidently undermining Rwanda’s sporting scene, and if nothing is done pretty soon this tide will sink any hopes of our sports sector ever developing to its full potential. 

Yesterday, we reported how the Minister hounded Beraho out of a high level crisis meeting at the ministry’s headquarters.

The duo should pursue dialogue, aimed at resolving the tension between the Olympics body and the government, which escalated into the recent public personal attacks.

Merciless means of resolving misunderstandings, whether by decrees or otherwise, is counterproductive.

To top it all up elections for the new RNOC office bearers have been set for December, yet initially these elections were scheduled for 12 months ago. This means the incumbent Executive Committee led by Beraho is running the Olympics body illegally.

There are deep-rooted issues such as the RNOC elections and the government’s involvement in sports that need to be addressed. These should however be discussed at the highest levels openly and honestly.

A compromise should be reached between the two parties, for the good of the sporting industry. This requires both parties to put egos and pride aside.

If taken seriously the talks, will, lead to constructive debate on the role and future not only of sports but also the best system of sports administration in the country.

The differences between the ministry and the head of the Olympics body have been long-running which, if not handled well, can threaten the stability of the entire sports federations.
The differences   between the Minister and the sports administrator go beyond their personalities and they can only reach meaningful and long-term solutions if they discuss and debate within a national framework for the good of Rwandan sports.

If the compromise is not reached between the two parties, the cost of failure to sort this out and other feuds involving the Minister and the Olympics body may be too high for the country to pay.

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