Habineza sacks RNOC executive

THE inevitable happened on Tuesday when Sports Minister Joseph Habineza ran out of patience and dissolved the National Olympics Committee’s executive.The long-standing feud between the minister and RNOC’s supremo Ignace Beraho came to a head Tuesday evening when the latter together with his executive were driven out of office.
The long-standing feud between RNOC boss Ignace Beraho (R) and Sports minister Joseph Habineza (L) exploded when the former was relieved of his duties two days ago.
The long-standing feud between RNOC boss Ignace Beraho (R) and Sports minister Joseph Habineza (L) exploded when the former was relieved of his duties two days ago.

THE inevitable happened on Tuesday when Sports Minister Joseph Habineza ran out of patience and dissolved the National Olympics Committee’s executive.

The long-standing feud between the minister and RNOC’s supremo Ignace Beraho came to a head Tuesday evening when the latter together with his executive were driven out of office.

Habineza attributed the dissolution to several reasons; including incompetence and the officials having served past their reign among others. RNOC’s disbanded chief Beraho was criticized for stubbornly refusing to step down.

“Technically, his reign ran out back in April so one wonders what he has been doing in office since,” Habineza wondered.

He also said how several federations were complaining at how RNOC was threatening to complicate the electoral process with weird demands.

The minister further blasted the body for their incompetence after failing to submit administrative and financial reports ever since they assumed power four years ago.

“For these reasons and the powers granted to me by the organic law No.05/1987 and its annexes of February 18, 1987 that govern sports and entertainment, I am forced to relieve the current executive committee of their duties,” he said.

Until the December elections, the body is going to be jointly run by officials from Rwanda’s Automobile Club (RAC), the National Football Federation (Ferwafa) as well as the basketball and volleyball federations.

Habineza added that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Africa National Olympic Committee Associations (ACNOA), all local federations and the Ministry of Justice had been informed of the suspension.

Recently, Habineza gave federations 15 days to organize an extraordinary general assembly that would elect an interim committee to run RNOC through to December.

The assembly met and instead offered to support Beraho to successfully finish his second term which many understand did not go down well with the minister.

This may however have serious implications on Rwanda should the IOC denounce the order as a “serious interference” in what is supposed to be an independent body as was the case with Iraq.

The Middle-East nation suffered heavily when FIFA, the governing body of world football banned the Iraqi soccer federation from international play for a year unless the Olympic committee’s dissolution was rescinded.

But Habineza insists that the decision ‘is firm and will not be reconsidered’.

The move has left mixed feelings amongst the different federations. While some believe that the move could better things, others insist that the whole fracas is centered on a personal feud between Habineza and Beraho.

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