Row deepens

Local cycling clubs have vowed to take no further participation in local competitions until their federation comes clean on a number of burning issues.

Local cycling clubs have vowed to take no further participation in local competitions until their federation comes clean on a number of burning issues.

The clubs want Rwanda Cycling Union [RCU] to disclose its staff, offices and clarify on other important concerns, Times Sport has established. 

The federation stopped, according to one club leader, arranging meeting with the club leaders to plan and prepare various competitions, ceased awarding clubs trophies prompting the latter to doubt the prosperity of cycling in the country.

Nevertheless, the federation has, since the election of its current leader failed to disclose its offices to the member clubs.“We have the working license from Mijespoc; we are member clubs of the Cycling Federation,” said Abouba Sebuchanda, Cine Elmay senior coach.

Before adding that, “We wonder and, now, protest how the federation is working without our involvement.”

Sebuchanda revealed how in four year’s the federation president Charles Kamanda has not met them to talk about the problems facing their sport in spite of their continuous requests.

The seemingly furious Sebuchanda urged that if it was not for the existence of clubs, Kamanda would have nothing to lead because, in his own words, “there would be no federation,” clubs make the federation, he noted.

But since there are four clubs, he added, “There should be a permanent office so that we can have a meeting point to plan for the future of our cyclists, the clubs and federation in order to comprehensively develop the sport in the country.”

Cine Elmay, formed in the 1980s, Huye Cycling Club, Eastern Cycling Club and Rubavu are the four existing clubs.

not there to shape cyclists?” wondered Sebuchanda, adding that, “But since we are in place, then we should be recognized in competitions and our cyclists ought to be awarded for what they’ve competed for and won.”

Insider sources disclosed that RCU last had permanent offices at Amahoro stadium when former Butare Mayor Celestine Karemera was the president.

But since the election of Kamanda in 2003 the clubs have not had any idea of who their vice president, secretary, treasurer are and were surprised by the list of names issued to them at the recently concluded Tour du Rwanda.

Sources add that they only knew Kamanda on the list.In an SMS message sent to Kamanda, seen by Times Sport, the Eastern Club head coach Daniel Rulinda asked Kamanda to arrange a meeting before the Butare competition next month.

And Sebuchanda supplemented it by saying, “We have asked him for a meeting but he has not responded. We want him to give us detailed explanations on many important issues before the next competition.”

Before noting that that clubs taking part in any local competitions should be awarded as clubs and not as abrupt national teams, as it was the case during the Tour du Rwanda.

“We were registered as clubs to participate in the recently concluded Tour du Rwanda but to surprise Kamanda teamed our cyclists into teams ‘Team Rwanda A’ and ‘Team Rwanda B’ and were awarded as Team Rwanda winners and not as club A or club B competitors.

Furious as his face suggested, Sebuchanda suggested that national teams should be formed with the consent of the clubs which nurture the cyclists because, “they [clubs] invest a lot in them [cyclists].”

Meanwhile Sebuchanda has disclosed that, as clubs, they are happy with Project Rwanda saying it is a promising sign of a good future for Rwandan cyclists.  

 “Our pride is when cyclists we bring up progresses and joins the national team and participates in international races as it is the case with Project Rwanda.”

Sebuchanda’s Cine Elmay boosts of three Team Rwanda cyclists in Obed Ruvogera, Nathan Byukusenge and Jean de Dieu Rafiki who are the pioneers of Project Rwanda which is running under the auspices of Tom Rich, an American who has taken the helping Rwandan cyclists.

The clubs, according to Sebuchanda, used to contribute to the organization of local competitions so that prizes were available for clubs and eligible cyclists.

Cine Elmay has the 2005 tour Rwanda trophy, the last awarded to any Club.

He said that on behalf of his colleagues, their agreement is that they will never risk their cyclists’ lives and their bicycles in a tour of which they are not informed about its insurance.

Clarification on insurance, added Sebechanda, ended with the previous tour.

According to the sources, in Karemera’s reign the national team was provided with spare parts but that their clubs have had the burden to provide everything for their cyclists since Kamanda took over.


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