The ongoing investigation into top officials of the local cycling governing body (Ferwacy) won’t “in any way” derail preparations for the 2025 UCI Road World Championship due to take place in Kigali, a federation official has said.
Kigali will host the championships from September 21-28, 2025 after Rwanda became the first African country to win the rights to host the high-profile global cycling race.
“I don’t think the situation will in any way disrupt our preparations for the World Championships,” federation executive director Alphonse Nkuranga told The New Times Wednesday a day after it emerged that two high-ranking Ferwacy officials were being investigated by Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB).
He added, “The responsibility for hosting such events goes beyond federations – whose role is just technical; it is about the country and there is a national organising committee that’s in charge.”
RIB spokesperson Thierry Murangira disclosed Tuesday that Ferwacy secretary-general Benoit Munyankindi had been arrested on multiple charges, including favouritism and forgery, while federation president Abdullah Murenzi was also under investigation on suspicion that he was aware of the irregularities but did not act.
Murangira declined to reveal further details regarding the nature of the alleged irregularities, telling The New Times on Tuesday, “this is what is still under investigation and we can’t reveal more information at this stage as it may compromise investigations.”
Unlike Munyankindi, Murenzi, who first rose to the helm of Ferwacy in an interim capacity back in 2019 before assuming the role through a vote two years later, was not in detention.
Years of wrangling
A former Nyanza District mayor and president of Rayon Sports, Rwanda’s most popular football club, Murenzi moved to Ferwacy as a replacement of Aimable Bayingana, who resigned along with his committee members, amid allegations of financial irregularities. The cycling federation, which has won plaudits not least for organising and raising the profile of the annual Tour du Rwanda, has endured years of wrangling and allegations of anomalies.
Rwanda was officially announced as hosts for the 2025 edition of the UCI World Championships in a ceremony held in Leuven, Belgium in September 2021, a development that boosted the country’s growing status as a cycling nation.
“Choosing Rwanda to host the event was motivated by many factors. They looked at the country, the environment, availability of facilities like hotels, the state of cycling in the country, the political will, among other aspects,” Nkuranga said.
“So preparations will continue as usual.”