Rwanda’s High Commission to Kenya has dispatched a diplomat to Iten County to follow up on the tragic death of Rwandan athlete Siraj Rubayita.
The 34-year-old track and field athlete passed away on Friday, August 18, in Iten, Kenya, where he was engaged in individual training.
Investigations are currently underway, but Kenyan media outlets reported that his demise followed a violent altercation with a Kenyan athlete on Thursday of the previous week. This altercation was ignited by a love triangle involving a certain woman over whom the two athletes were competing.
Rubayita, a middle-distance runner, took part in numerous international events, including the Kigali Peace Marathon, the Regional 10000m Championships in Campo Atletica in Italy, the Ugandan Championships in Kampala, the Gensan Giulietta and Romeo Half Marathon in Verona, Italy, and others.
A reliable source at the Rwandan High Commission in Kenya informed The New Times that they are closely monitoring the situation and that one of their diplomats has already departed for Iten. Iten County is situated approximately six hours away from Nairobi.
The same reliable source also informed Times Sport that the High Commission is maintaining close contact with the bereaved family and is making efforts to assist its members who have traveled to Kenya to facilitate the repatriation of Rubayita’s body.
Meanwhile, the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) mourned the loss of the late athlete Siraj Rubayita, extolling him as a promising athlete in whom they had held high expectations. “Losing such a promising athlete in whom the federation had placed significant expectations is truly saddening,” remarked Jean Paul Niyintunze, RAF’s Secretary General.
Niyitunze further noted that Iten is a favored training destination for Rwandan athletes, and many of them have visited the location in the past for individual training purposes.
Rubayita’s family issued a statement expressing sorrow over his death, which they attributed to “a senseless act of violence.”
The family has requested privacy and respect as the ongoing investigations unfold. “To ensure a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the circumstances surrounding this heart-wrenching tragedy, we are refraining from contributing to further speculation until the police investigation is concluded,” the statement read.
“During this challenging period, we appeal for patience and understanding as we navigate the hurdles ahead of us. Our primary focus remains on mourning our son and fully cooperating with the authorities in their pursuit of truth and justice,” the statement continued.