The long running feud in the Rwandan athletics federation was brought to an end over the weekend after the intervention of the Director of Cabinet in the Prime Minister’s office Eugene Barikana.
Barikana used humor, persuasion and applied some form of toughness to ring in Louis Rurangirwa, who had defied the sports ministry’s directive to step down so that an interim committee runs the body till fresh elections are held.
The feud stems from last year’s Kigali peace marathon where Rwf 1.5m was embezzled and led to suspensions of federation top officials, including Secretary General Constatin Twajamahoro, 2nd vice president Dieudonne Disi and Treasurer Nadine Muterinkindi.
The sacked officials countered by accusing their superiors, who included former athletics federation president Supt. Gerald Ntare and 1st V.P Louis Rurangirwa of complicity in embezzling the funds.
The former later bowed to pressure and resigned but Rurangirwa remained cocky and openly defied Sports and Culture Minister Protais Mitali’s advice to pave way for thorough investigations and fresh elections.
After requesting the Prime Minister’s office to intervene in the case, Rurangirwa was found to be at fault when all his claims against persecution were found to be baseless.
He later begged to remain in office as vice president but the General Assembly unanimously rejected the move.
“It is clear that he (Rurangirwa) never followed rules, something that is surprising since he is the one who petitioned our office.
“It is very clear the sports ministry was right to have an audit team carry out an investigation, institute an interim committee to run the federation until new elections were held,” Barikana said after the stormy marathon meeting at the federation head offices, that lasted over six hours.
Elections for a new leadership team are slated for Sunday at Amahoro stadium.