High Court throws out Beraho’s lawsuit

KIGALI - The Kigali High Court yesterday dismissed the lawsuit filed by embattled former president of the Rwanda National Olympic Committee (RNOC) Ignace Beraho for lack of evidence attesting to the legality of the committee. Beraho had sought legal redress following a recent decision by Sports and Culture Minister Joseph Habineza to dissolve the entire RNOC Executive Committee.

KIGALI - The Kigali High Court yesterday dismissed the lawsuit filed by embattled former president of the Rwanda National Olympic Committee (RNOC) Ignace Beraho for lack of evidence attesting to the legality of the committee.

Beraho had sought legal redress following a recent decision by Sports and Culture Minister Joseph Habineza to dissolve the entire RNOC Executive Committee.

“Your lawsuit cannot be accepted because there are insufficient documents to prove the legal status of RNOC,” ruled High Court president Johnston Busingye.

Busingye added that it would be illegal to try this particular case.

Looking surprised, Beraho who has been at the RNOC helm for the last eight years, explained to court that his personality was indisputable saying there was no reason to identify himself.

Beraho had filed case seeking an injunction against the minister’s decision pending the general elections for the Executive of the sports body which are slated for December.

He wanted the court to order for an immediate opening of the RNOC offices and accounts which were immediately frozen after Habineza’s decision.

Despite Beraho challenging the authority of the minister to dissolve an independent institution like RNOC, Habineza had insisted that by law, he has powers to intervene in any institution that is not functioning well.

“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,” reads the letter written by Habineza dissolving the committee.

Habineza’s decision to suspend RNOC came as a culmination of the long-standing feud between him and Beraho, whose mandate as the Olympics boss expired way back in April this year.

The minister had on several occasions accused Beraho of stubbornly refusing to step down even after his second four-year mandate had expired.

According to Habineza, 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.

A caretaker committee has been appointed to the run up of the December elections.

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