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Mnangagwa pays tribute to Gumede

by Staff reporter
31 Dec 2021 at 00:10hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday paid glowing tribute to Highlanders president Ndumiso Gumede, who died on Wednesday afternoon after a short illness.

Gumede (76) died at Mpilo Central Hospital's intensive care unit, after complaining of a stomach ache.

Mnangagwa said he respected Gumede for his professionalism in the game.

"Always genial and full of jokes, the late Gumede ensured integrity and professionalism in a game which is often mired in controversies of corrupt match-fixing and related ills. Those of us wedded to the game will miss him, keenly feeling the yawning gap he leaves behind," he said in a statement.

The President said Highlanders is where it is as an institution because of Gumede.

"As its chairman and president, Highlanders Football Club scaled to higher heights, transforming into a household name it is to this day. Above all, his strong African roots turned professional sporting into a cultural carnival for which football fans will miss him sorely," he added.

There have been calls from some sections for Gumede to be declared a national hero with Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni posting on Facebook page: "If he is not a national hero, who else can be?"

Football stakeholders across the country and abroad heaped praises on Gumede.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) said Gumede served the country's football with distinction.

"We are devastated by the passing of veteran football administrator, Ndumiso Gumede, a man whose passion and commitment towards football development remains unmatched. He was an exemplary leader who excelled at both club and national level. He served the game with distinction. We will always cherish his sincerity, professionalism and work ethic. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gumede family, Highlanders FC and the entire football community during this difficult time. MHSRIP," the PSL said.

Highlanders' patron Jimmy Ncube said the veteran football administrator had transformed the Bulawayo giants into a football school of excellence.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe