It’s not very common to find leaders who manage to mix well their leadership responsibilities with parenthood and at the same time have spare time for sports; Rose Kabuye mixes the three with little effort.
‘Work without play makes Jack a dull boy,’ goes the English adage, and indeed Mrs. Kabuye, like very many of her RPF comrades, respects the value of sports for a healthy body. Heard of having a healthy mind in a healthy body? Kabuye fits the bill perfectly.
According to one of her closest comrades and childhood acquaintances, Maj. Gen. Ceaser Kayizari with whom she grew up Col. Kabuye has been and will always be a sports fanatic.
Despite volleyball being her favourite sport, she has a soft spot for football, something that saw her take up an administrative role on APR Fc management board in the late 1990s; unfortunately, she had to abandon it for other responsibilities.
“As an administrator, she was profoundly active,” recounts Gen. Kayizari, who went to the same school with Col. Kabuye from primary through to university level.
He noted, “She is known (to her close pals) as the chief morale booster of sports. I remember during the Cecafa senior challenge Cup in 1999 and 2005 (both staged in Kigali), she was the cheerleader in the VIP section where she would lead other dignitaries in supporting the Amavubi.”
As a friend of hers through all levels of education, Kayizari remembers Kabuye as an avid volleyball player, no wonder, according to him, “she was on the school team from primary (at Gashorwa Common) through Makerere University.”
“She was captain of the school team in primary seven,” he recalls. Gashorwa Common primary school is in Mbarara district, Western Uganda from where she joined Trinity College Nabingo for secondary school level then Makarere University.
At Gashorwa, she was with several Rwandan pupils, among them now senior government or former government officials like ex-Ministers Sam Nkusi and Col. (Rtd) Joseph Karemera, a school where Ombudsman, Tito Rutaremara was once the head teacher.
In words of one of her family members, but who preferred to remain anonymous, Col. Kabuye is very much into sports that even on a busy schedule, she gets time to take her children to the city’s sports and leisure facilities.
Yet her interest in sports particularly football were best illustrated during her time as Mayor of Kigali city in the mid 90s when she proposed that the city authority take over the running of local giants SC. Kiyovu.
However, her innocent yet goodwill gesture was interpreted by the club’s hardcore fans as a way of trying to ‘rob’ them of their team, so they rebuffed it out-rightly, recalls Col. (Rtd) Gadafi Kazintwari, one of the numerous former Kiyovu presidents.
By the time Kabuye’s advances on Kiyovu were rejected on the first asking, the club was led by local businessman Leonard Bashaija.
After failing in the Kiyovu bid, Kigali city went on to take over Les Citidins, which later changed the name to AS Kigali, and as they say the rest is history.
Since then, Kiyovu has gone through turbulent times characterized with endless power struggle by warring factions, and as a result of that quagmire, the oldest club in the country is now languishing at the foot of national league standing, with relegation seemingly a huge possibility unless someone with good intentions comes to its rescue.
Rose Kabuye was arrested on arrival at Frankfurt Airport on November 9. The former mayor of Kigali, Kabuye is among the nine former members of the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA) who were indicted by French Judge Jean Louis Bruguière.