June 8, 2020

Embattled Rayon Sports Chairman Claims Detractors Paying Key Players to Leave Team

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Munyakazi Sadate, the Chairman of Rayon Sports, is a surrounded man with trouble after trouble following him every other week

The troubles of Munyakazi Sadate, the chairman of top Rwanda league club Rayon Sports, seem to be going from worse to worst.

He has come up with a new set of serious allegations, that are going to further strain the already fragile unity of the club, considered the most popular in the country. It commands a diehard fan base not seen with other clubs.

Five top players who formed the core of the team’s fighting force on the pitch, suddenly left at the same time to its rivals. This followed weeks of bitter infighting between Munyakazi and an invisible force trying to oust him.

Last month, a group calling itself the diehard fan club of Rayon Sports formed a new body branded as the advisory council. This council is incidentally led by troubled business tycoon Paul Muvunyi, whom Munyakazi replaced as Rayon’s Chair.

A few days later, Munyakazi penned a long open letter to President Paul Kagame accusing a force he didn’t name names, of orchestrating chaos in the club. He also said a powerful section in the club works with Rwandan dissident group RNC.

Munyakazi also claims the same force was spreading rumours in the team and its fans that the government, in essence referring to President Kagame, was intending to dismantle Rayon Sports completely.

The letter came as a shock to the football fraternity and government. At the same time, a new group of people claimed to have ousted Munyakazi from team chair.

That move prompted intervention of the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), clearly a move driven from the highest levels of government. RGB held meetings with Munyakazi’s faction and one which had claimed to have replaced him.

Later that day, RGB issued a statement affirming that Munyakazi is the rightful chair of Rayon Sports. For days that followed, it seemed as though the team was settled.

Over the weekend, Munyakazi struck again. In a long message posted in a Rayon Sports fan club WhatsApp group, Munyakazi makes serious allegations. He told the fans that the five top players who left did not leave out of personal will.

Instead, Munyakazi says that his detractors had invested Rwf 25m in rival clubs, which was used buy the players from Rayon Sports. Like all previous allegations, he points fingers at an invincible force but doesn’t name people.

Munyakazi told the fans that they should not worry because Rayon had 29 players, and only five have gone, leaving 24 who are all strong players in the national league.

The war inside Rayon comes as two weeks ago the football federation and the clubs agreed to give the 2020 title to arch-rival APR FC which is funded by the military.

Before COVID-19 struck, APR was topping the league table. No games have been played since. Government and the federation are still finding ways of how football can return. Rayon won the 2019 title.

Some sports have been allowed to return, but with tough measures in place.

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