Ugandan Crews Set to Compete in 2024 Rwanda Huye Rally


By Mwambazi Lawrence

Several Ugandan rally teams are gearing up to participate in the forthcoming 2024 Huye Rally, scheduled to take place from June 14th to 16th in the Huye and Gisagara Districts of Rwanda’s Southern Province. This rally marks the second round of the Rwanda National Rally Championship and is organized in honor of the late Jean Claude Gakwaya, a legendary Rwandan rally driver who tragically passed away in a motor accident in 1986. Gakwaya is still celebrated as one of the greatest rally drivers Rwanda has ever produced.

Rwanda’s speed star Giancarlo Davite will be in action in Huye

The 2023 edition saw a dramatic and controversial victory by Uganda’s Muzamiru Watolya and Abdul Karim Kakooza, who secured their first career podium driving a Subaru N8. This year, anticipation is high for another thrilling competition as teams from across the region converge on Rwanda for what promises to be a spectacular event.

Last Year’s winners Muzamir Mwami and Abdul Karim Kakooza

Mr. Jackson Serwanga, the clerk of the course, emphasized the unique features of this year’s rally. “This edition will be special as it spans two days and includes a night stage, a feature that distinguishes it from other East African rallies. The people of Huye and Gisagara will hopefully enjoy it. I encourage everyone to come over and watch, and we are prioritizing safety.”

Clark of the course for this year’s edition Mr Jackson Serwanga

Local Rwandan crews expected to participate include well-known drivers such as Giancarlo Davite, Kalimpinya Queen, Christian Kanangire, Kevin Mugigi, and Jean Gakwaya, who will be driving his Subaru Impreza N10. Mike Rutuku will be competing in his Subaru Impreza GC8, among other local talents. These drivers are eager to perform well on home soil and pay tribute to the legacy of Jean Claude Gakwaya.

Among the Ugandan crews expected to grace the event are Joshua Muwanguzi and Hamza Lwanga, who will be driving a Subaru Impreza N12, Dr. Moustapha Mukasa and Mwambazi Lawrence in a Mitsubishi Evo9, and Gilberto Balondemu in a Toyota Runx and others. These teams have been diligently preparing their vehicles and honing their skills in anticipation of the event.

Moustapha Mukasa and Mwambazi Lawrence fresh from the pearl of Africa Rally will also grace the event

The Huye Rally, part of the Rwanda National Rally Championship, not only highlights the competitive spirit of the sport but also serves as a significant cultural event for the region. The inclusion of a night stage is expected to add an extra layer of excitement and challenge for the drivers. This innovative addition aims to test the drivers’ skills and adaptability under different conditions, making the rally more engaging for both participants and spectators.

Entries are already open, and teams from across East Africa are registering to take part. The event promises to bring together top talent from the region, providing a platform for both seasoned drivers and emerging talents to showcase their abilities.

Joshua Muwanguzi Powers his Subaru Impreza in the EMC MOIL Rally super Special stage. PHOTO BY JOHNSON WERE

For the local residents of Huye and Gisagara, the rally is more than just a sporting event; it is a celebration of their region’s contribution to motorsport. The organizers have taken significant measures to ensure that the event runs smoothly and safely, with strict protocols in place to protect both the participants and the spectators.

Mr. Serwanga expressed his optimism about the upcoming rally. “We are thrilled to host such a prestigious event in honor of Jean Claude Gakwaya. His legacy continues to inspire new generations of rally drivers, and we are committed to making this year’s rally a memorable experience for everyone involved.”

With the rally just weeks away, the participating teams are in the final stages of their preparations. Mechanics are fine-tuning the cars, and the excitement is palpable. The Huye Rally 2024 is set to be a thrilling showcase of speed, skill, and sportsmanship, bringing together the best of East African rallying talent in a fitting tribute to a motorsport legend.

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