THE much awaited Rwanda National Olympic and Sport Committee elections will now be held on April 20. The exercise will be conducted under a new constitution.
The Ethics and Jurisdictions president in the local Olympic committee who also doubles as the chairman of the election commission Philbert Rutagengwa said in a news conference yesterday that preparations were in top gear to hold the polls.
He said all the twenty eight sports federations and associations in Rwanda were informed of the elections date during the Olympic movement’s general assembly held last Saturday at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel in Rubavu.
According to the Olympic charter, elections are held the following year after the Olympic Games. The executive committee officials shall hold office for a term of four years.
Offices within the executive committee shall be as follows: president, first vice president, second vice president, secretary general, treasurer and two advisors.
Returns of the registration will be compiled and filed to the Olympic executive committee started on April 1 and will go until April 10,” Rutagengwa said.
“Candidates that will be allowed to compete for various posts will be representing or nominated by any of the existing federations. No independent candidate will be allowed to compete as stated in the new constitution.”
Rutagengwa further added that the electoral committee will screen all the candidates’ forms on April 11 and the final list of shortlisted candidates will be issued on April 12.
Campaigns will begin on April 13 until 20 when the elections will be held in a yet to be identified venue.
“My team will ensure nothing but free and fair elections,” added Rutagengwa.
The incumbent Rwanda Olympic Committee leadership were elected into office in 2009 after months of animosity between the former Minister of Sports Joseph Habineza and the former president of the Olympic body Ignace Beraho.
Habineza disbanded Beraho and his executive committee for insubordination and stubbornly refusing to relinquish power.
Brig. Gen. Charles Rudakubana claimed the top seat with a landslide win over former Sports Minister Robert Bayigamba. Rudakubana alongside Gashugi Muhimpundu [1st vice president], Elie Manirarora [2nd vice president], Parfait Busabizwa [Secretary General] and Thierry Rwabusaza [treasurer] have been running the administration of the Olympic movement in Rwanda.
The Secretary General Parfait Busabizwa said that they are happy with what has been accomplished in their reign.
“We have established a good working relationship with the Ministry of Sports and Culture as well as other federations. We also managed to come up with a new constitution,” he noted.
He further added that they managed to increase the number of athletes who participated in the London Olympic Committee; having four qualified athletes and three on wildcard invitation but never won any medal for the country.
He is also happy his administration lured the International Olympic Committee boss Jacques Rogge to visit Rwanda last year; they became a member of Commonwealth Games Federation and Rwanda took part for the first time in the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
Among other activities was the construction of a sports centre, worth Rwf80 million in Nyanza District, sponsored by the Foundation Olympafrica aimed at community development through sports activities.Follow https://twitter.com/BonnieMugabe