Rwanda: Olympics President Munyabagisha Undecided On Pursuing Second Term

24 February 2021

THE Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC) President Amb. Valens Munyabagisha says he has not decided about running for a second term in office.

Munyabagisha told Time Sport yesterday, "under the statute, I'm allowed to stand for a second term but I haven't decided on that yet. Maybe towards the General Assembly in April is when I will have made up my mind."

The RNOSC president noted that the Extraordinary General Assembly will decide when the exercise should be organized adding "The assembly is "tentatively" scheduled to take place on April 3rd 2021 if there are no interruptions.

Munyabagisha was elected unopposed in March 2017, replacing Robert Bayigamba. According to the Olympic charter, elections are held the following year after the Olympic Games.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some members of the National Olympics committee like the Rugby body (RRF) think the RNOSC committee should remain in office until August to avoid disruption of the country's preparations for Tokyo 2020 Games which will be held later this year.

The Tokyo 2020 games were postponed to this year due to the coronavirus pandemic which disrupted the sporting world last year.

"It is better to hold elections after the Tokyo Games, although we are not sure when the assembly will sit, it is still early let us give them time to prepare," RRF president Tharcisse Kamanda noted.

The Olympic Committee has come under fire from some federations like the Athletics for delaying the elections.

In the last General Assembly held at Lemigo Hotel in October last year, the two bodies rallied against a proposal to delay the vote, pointing out that Munyabagisha's four year-term should not be extended arguing that other regional National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have set dates to hold their elections despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

At the moment, no candidates have come forward to show interest for the position of RNOSC president.

Rwanda has sent athletes to every Olympic Games since Los Angeles 1984, but the country is yet to win a medal.

Marathon runners Feliceien Muhitira and John Hakizimana are the only athletes to have so far earned a place at Tokyo 2020 games.

Others like James Sugira and Martha Yankurije, as well as the national men's and women's beach volleyball teams have a chance of sealing a berth in the Tokyo 2020 beach volleyball tournament.

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