Business as usual with or without the Germans
Sports and Culture Minister Joseph Habineza has downplayed the effects, the wrecked relationship between Rwanda and Germany could have on Rwandan sports.
Rwanda is a beneficiary of the Germany support in sports development among African countries. The football federation, Ferwafa and the National Paralympics Committee are the two local institutions that have a substantial working relationship with their Germany counterparts.
Germany Football Federation, DFB is Ferwafa’s biggest benefactor in a number of fields ranging from technical to material support, yet that relationship could probably break down if the current swiveling diplomatic wave between the two countries is not settled.
Responding to the question of whether, in the event of the situation deteriorating further, would not have diverse effects on Rwandan sports, the Minister said, “To me it’s not a big issue.”
“We (government of Rwanda) simply called our ambassador (for consultations) but never said the cooperation between the two countries has ended.
“The diplomatic relationship remains intact. It’s a temporary situation, which once settled, everything goes back to normal,” Habineza told Times Sport by telephone yesterday.
He added, “Just wait and see. In every business, you can not put all eggs in one basket, but if it happens (in case the diplomatic relationship between the two countries break down), we have plan B.”
Relations between Rwanda and Germany hit rock bottom early this week after the Germany police arrested Rwanda’s Chief of State Protocol Mrs. Rose Kabuye on Sunday while she was on official duty on her arrival at Frankfurt airport.
On Tuesday, November 11, the ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation released a press release announcing that the Government of Rwanda had taken the decision to recall for consultation Ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana, accredited to Germany, with effect today (November 13th 2008) and requested Mr. Christian Clages, Ambassador of Germany to Rwanda, to leave the country within 48 hours, until the issues at hand are resolved.
Efforts to get a comment from Ferwafa president Brig. Gen. John Bosco Kazura were futile as he could not return our calls.
However, his number two Veduste Kayiranga had this to say, “It’s not a very big issue (whether DFB cuts ties with Ferwafa), and I don’t think what has happened will affect the cooperation between us (Ferwafa) and them (DFB).”
“But we can only wait and see what happens next before we event start to think of what may or may not happen in the future, none the less, if they decided to go, they can go,” stated Ferwafa’s vice president.