Cercle Sportif in ownership wrangles

Nyarugenge District and members of Cercle Sportif located in Kiyovu are on the spot over the ownership of the sporting complex, The New Times has learnt.

Nyarugenge District and members of Cercle Sportif located in Kiyovu are on the spot over the ownership of the sporting complex, The New Times has learnt.

Cercle Sportif has put Rwanda on the map after hosting several intentional tennis tournaments. It’s also a centre for several sporting activities like swimming, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, squash and rugby among others.

On October, 28, Nyarugenge Mayor, Theophila Nyirahonora directed the current Cercle Sportif leadership to surrender the complex to the rightful owner.

But the mayor’s directive has not gone down well with some members accusing her of acting in total disregard of the law.

Last week, a member, who declined to be named said, the Mayor had overlooked the legal advice given to her from the Minister of Justice, who reportedly maintained that Cercle Sportif is owned legally by the current members.

But despite the minister’s opinion, the mayor reportedly moved in the opposite direction and directed that Cercle Sportif current leadership surrender the centre to Jean Marie Mudahunga.

According to the Mayor, Cercle Sportif belongs to about eight founders including Mudahunga.

The mayor’s letter, a copy of which this newspaper has obtained, also asks the current leadership not to curry out any more developmental activities. It gives the members 30 days ultimatum from the day the letter was issued on October, 28.

The letter is also copied to Local Government Minister, James Musoni, the Mayor of Kigali City and the Commissioner General of Police, among others.

This year, Justice Minister, Tharcisse Karugarama gave his legal opinion in his letter; dated April, 29 that founders and other members who joined later have equal say over Cercle Sportif.

He advised that former members who wished to join again to do so but should follow the rules that govern the Cercle Sportif.

The minister said Cercle Sportif ownership was legalized after the current members fulfilled the 2000 law that set guidelines for the Non Governmental Organizations.

The Mayor had in March this year petitioned the minister, arguing that Cercle Sportif had two separate legal statuses but Minister Karugarama disagreed.

The angry members argue that Cercle Sportif belongs to over 1,500 members and asked the mayor to reconsider her decision immediately.

The mayor told The New Times on Sunday that the current leadership “must” pack up and go because they hijacked the centre from its rightful owners. 

She insisted that she had acted within the confines of the law and urged the current leadership “not to waste time.”

“I know what I am doing is right and the sporting complex is owned by other people and not the currentl leadership. I grew up here and I know what I am talking about,” the Mayor said in a telephone interview.

“It is not necessarily that we must have the same stand,” the mayor added. She insisted that Mudahunga represents about eight founders of the complex and had already tabled documentary evidence, showing the complex belongs to them.

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