Beraho and competency don’t mix

Mr. Ignace Beraho should be the last person to preach competency. You cannot preach beer and drink water, which is what our good president of the Rwanda National Olympic Committee, Beraho is trying to do.

Mr. Ignace Beraho should be the last person to preach competency. You cannot preach beer and drink water, which is what our good president of the Rwanda National Olympic Committee, Beraho is trying to do.

A manipulator of the highest calibre I’ve ever known. He has manipulated almost 90 percent of the local sports federations (officials) for all the eight years he’s been heading the highest sports governing institution in the country.

And he continues to do so even after his mandatory two terms of office.

According to the RNOC constitution, general elections for a new four-year term are supposed to be held between three and four months after the Olympic Games, which means Beraho’s second and last term of office expired last December.

But nine months later, he’s still the boss, still calling all the tunes with little or no strings attached at all, including managing the finances and dictating all the organization’s affairs if and when he wishes.

The last Olympic Games, held in Beijing ended on August 24 last year and the general elections were supposed to be in December of the same year latest, but the date passed without any sound, especially on the side of the powers that be.

It was only towards the end of the month that Beraho announced that the elections would be in March (this year). March came and went, and today is August 23 and still no elections and Beraho is still very much in full control.

Last week, it was again announced that the elections will be held on December 27, one year after the initial date.

Unfortunately, like never before, strict conditions have been set, among them and the most significant is that only federations with full legal status as required by the justice ministry, will participate.

The good news in the whole idea of RNOC elections is that Beraho will not be seeking an unprecedented third term of office, but the bad news is about who is going to replace him and make a difference?

A quick look around, I don’t see many capable candidates, which might tempt the incumbent to change his mind and go for a sad (third) term.

Four eight years (nine, including the one he’s been in charge outside the constitutional two terms), you cannot separate the National Olympic Committee and Ignace Beraho, the two are synonymous. You talk RNOC, you talk Beraho, you talk Beraho, and RNOC comes to your mind straight away.

The system Beraho has been running the Olympic Committee since he took over in 2001 is going to make it hard for him to adjust to life outside it, where he has been the one man running the show.

He’s been the father in the family—I’m talking of a family where the father is the provider of everything, his word is final, no opposing opinion to his, and whoever dares him (even his own wife, the mother of the family) will be in deep trouble.

I’m saying a dictator father, who scares even his own children!
For over eight years, Beraho has created more enemies in the local sports circles than friends yet strangely he seems very comfortable with the state of affairs.

The situation has left him isolated around a few of his cohorts. Only the tennis and the shadow swimming federation guarantee him support, the rest wanted him out four years ago.

Apart from furnishing RNOC offices (something he takes pride in) and filling their bank accounts, what else has Beraho and his team achieved in eight years that he can now start preaching competency?

Incompetence is the middle name for all local sports federation leaders (with no exception).

The rot stems from the top to bottom and it cuts across the entire face of Rwandan sport, that’s why there is going to be real dilemma finding someone competent enough to replace Beraho.

We could spend the next four months discussing the elections and the chances of Beraho having a big influence (with his manipulative style of leadership) on who comes in after him but the real issue is, can we have a better choice than those we already know?

Beraho’s eight years have been a big disappointment to say the least. The two Olympic Games (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008) have been the worst for Rwanda, even when those concerned would prefer to have us believe otherwise.

Let’s hope that when the time comes, the voters (federations) would make a good choice and if possible, reject anyone with Beraho’s influence.

When Beraho finally leaves RNOC, let him go with his team. Rwandan sport deserves more than people who preach beer and get high on water.



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