Chess: Interim executive team elected to run federation for a year

Ben Tom Zimurinda during a past tournament earlier this year. Craish Bahizi

The Rwanda Chess Federation (Ferwade) general assembly on Sunday, June 14, elected a new executive committee to help steer the ship for an interim period of 12 months.

This came after the general assembly last week agreed to hold elections using any viable virtual platform due to limitations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Elections to usher in a new leadership team could not be held in April when the outgoing team's four-year term ended because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

 

The last poll was held in April 2016.

 

The totally new team has Ben Tom Zimurinda as president, Valentin Rukimbira, vice president, Elysee Tuyizere, secretary general, and Eddy Christian Nkuyubwatsi as treasurer.

The outgoing team was led by Kevin Ganza, deputised by Rugema Ngarambe. Niyibizi Alain Patience and Christella Rugabira were secretary general and treasurer, respectively.

During the meeting before Sunday's poll, it was agreed that an interim leadership team be set up. Its job is to urgently, among others, help ailing clubs get their houses in order before another poll can be called in a year's time.

Zimurinda's team is tasked with designing a roadmap that clearly defines desired outcomes and the major steps needed to succeed.

"I thank everyone who voted. But I also wish to make it clear that taking on such responsibilities is not about prestige. It's a struggle," Zimurinda told the general assembly.

Zimurinda knows that his team has a huge task. But he is undeterred.

For the federation to function as a legal entity, at least three member clubs must be fully registered. But only one, Vision Chess Club, currently fulfills requirements. There must be at least three registered clubs for a proper election to be held.

So much will, therefore, depend on how the new leadership team manages to rally people with divergent opinion and interest as well as bringing clubs back to life.

"We will need to come up with an action plan, and that's urgent. In not more than 30 days we must have a clear roadmap."

Besides contending with the problem of dormant clubs, Zimurinda must also mind major characteristics of good governance such as transparency and accountability if he is to succeed in steering the ship in the right direction.

jkaruhanga@newtimesrwanda.com

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