Kiyovu under fire over unpaid arrears to players and coach

Andre Casa Mbungo is reportedly owed by the club around Rwf5.5M in salary and match bonuses. File photo.

Former league giants SC Kiyovu have been hit by financial crisis with most players frustrated over unpaid four-month salaries. Head coach Andre Casa Mbungo has also not been paid for the last four months. Times Sport has learned.

With the growing tension between the players, coaching staff and the club management, the crisis engulfs the Mumena-based side at a crucial time of the starting of the 2018/2019 season – which gets underway on Friday.

The former champions will start their new campaign playing away to Kirehe FC at Nyakarambi grounds on Saturday.

It is reported that Mbungo has written to the club informing them he will soon step down if he is not paid all his owed salary and wages. Times Sport also understands that several players have threatened to stop training and playing against Kirehe on Saturday without their paycheck.

When Mbungo joined Kiyovu in August last year, the former AS Kigali coach was promised Rwf1.5M as his monthly salary but few months later, both parties amicably renegotiated and agreed to a Rwf1M salary after Kiyovu claimed they could not afford the initial contract.

Sources close to the coach estimate the amount owed to him by the club to be around Rwf5.5m – in salary and match bonuses.

Since March this year the main funders of the Green Baggies, Nyarugenge District have not deposited their monthly Rwf5M commitment to Kiyovu account, which is said to be the root cause of the ongoing turbulence at the club.

Speaking to this publication on condition of anonymity, one club official confirmed that that, “Players have gone four months without being paid while the coach is hitting into five months.”

“We are trying all we can to pay off all the arrears as soon as possible.” he underscored.

He further revealed that, “The coach and some players have already threatened to stop training until they are paid – and I understand their grievance. However, I want to assure them that we are equally concerned and the salaries issue is being worked on urgently.”

Times Sport repeatedly tried to reach Casa Mbungo for a comment but he was not responding to our calls, and had not replied to our texts by press time. 

A cloud of uncertainty hangs over the future of SC Kiyovu as the troubled Nyamirambo-based club’s financial woes move from bad to worse and could cause them to get relegated to the second division for a second time following their dramatic relegation at the end of 2016/2017 season, when they got saved by Isonga FC’s last minute withdrawal from the topflight league.

This is the second time – in a space of only six months – that the Nyarugenge District-sponsored club has been rocked by financial woes.

The crisis has vexed a faction of the SC Kiyovu’s dressing room, players are not attending training sessions regularly and some have resorted to seeking other clubs around.