League champions Rayon Sports have appointed their former midfielder Jeanot Witakenge as the new assistant coach, to replace Hamad ‘Katauti’ Ndikumana, who passed away two months ago, Sunday Sport has learnt.
The 48-year-old, who also played for APR FC and Rwanda national team (Amavubi), won the national league with Rayon Sports in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2004 as well as the Peace Cup in 1998.
Witakenge, one of the best midfielders to ever play in Rwandan football, also won the league with APR in 2006 and 2007, and Peace Cup in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
It is reported that the new assistant coach was appointed last week with the blessing of head coach Olivier Karekezi. However, efforts by Sunday Sport to get a comment from Rayon Sports management ended in vain as the secretary general, Bernard Itangishaka did not pick up our repeated calls by press time.
Last month, Karekezi had recommended fitness coach, Marcel Lomami to be his assistant but the management decided to appoint Witakenge and Lomami remains in his current position.
Witakenge first signed for Rayon Sports in the early 1990s from Espoir FC before joining Burundian side Associacion Sportif Inter Stars during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
He returned to Rayon Sports in October 1996 until 1999 when he travelled with Amavubi for a training camp in Belgium where he disappeared and only to return to Rwanda in 2001 to continue his career with Rayon. He also played for DR Congo club, St Eloi Lupopo.
He signed for APR FC for two years alongside Mbuyu Twite and Kabange Twite under Congolese coach Andy Mfutila.
Witakenge left APR FC in 2009 to return to DR Congo where he retired from playing and ventured into coaching St-Éloi Lupopo of Lubumbashi youth team.
Before coming to Rayon Sports as assistant coach, Witakenge coached AS Muungano of Bukavu, where he was sacked last September.
Rayon Sports are fifth in the league with 15 points, five behind leaders SC Kiyovu. AS Kigali are second place with 19 points, one ahead of third-placed APR FC after 10 rounds of matches.