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Nkezabo appointed Rwanda Athletics President

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Jean Damascene Nkezabo is the new Rwanda Athletics president. He was elected alongside vice president Emmanuel Bahizi, Secretary General Johnson Rukundo, Treasurer Jean Pierre Niyintunze, advisors Albert Kayiganwa and Théophile Mutuyeyezu. In his acceptance speech, Nkezabno promised to revamp the sport by increasing the number of competitions and sourcing for sponsorship for the different events. The new team will be in office for a four year term. The elections have brought to an end a long running feud that had polarised the body, once regarded as the ‘most organised’ in the country.

“Our immediate target is to increase the number of local competitions as well as looking for sponsorship for these events. We also need to get coaches for the different clubs and provide material support to our clubs,” Nkezabo declared in his acceptance speech.

Nkezabo takes over a federation that has been marred with internal power and money wrangles that stem from last year’s Kigali peace marathon where Rwf 1.5m was embezzled and led to suspensions of federation top officials who 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 confident and openly defied Sports and Culture Minister Protais Mitali’s advice to pave way for thorough investigations and fresh elections.

Meanwhile, the athletics federation also marked 100 years of the existence of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) with a national junior championship that included categories of 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m and long jump.

The event was also meant to select Rwanda’s representative to the world junior Athletics championship slated for Spain in July.

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