6 October 2006

Zimbabwe: Billiat to Be Buried At Warren Hills Today

Harare — FORMER CAPS United midfielder Maxwell Cheche Billiat will be buried at Warren Hills Cemetery in Harare this afternoon.

Billiat, who died at Parirenyatwa Hospital on Wednesday morning, will be laid to rest at 2pm.

Premiership giants CAPS United took over Billiat's funeral yesterday with club president Twine Phiri and operations director Farai Jere committing about $1 million after meeting with Billiat's relatives at their Budiriro home in the morning.

"As a former player of our club CAPS United, we felt that Cheche Billiat deserved a decent burial and when we were told that nothing had been finalised regarding his burial we decided to take over.

"It's also part of our social responsibility as CAPS United to help the Billiat family during this difficult time.

"We have since managed to secure a grave at Warren Hills while we have also paid Nyaradzo (funeral parlour) to take care of the funeral, including the coffin. We will also provide a mini bus tomorrow.

"The Zimbabwe Prison Service officials have also been helpful to the Billiat family by securing a burial order and, barring unforeseen hiccups, the arrangement is that Cheche will be laid to rest at 2pm tomorrow (today)," said Phiri.

Meanwhile, some of Billiat's former CAPS United teammates, now based in the United Kingdom, yesterday conveyed their condolence messages.

"We are sending our heartfelt condolences to his family and I have even spoken to some of the (former CAPS United) players including Joe (Mugabe), Morgan (Nkatazo) and Ashley (Rambanapasi) over the news.

"I only got to see the news on the internet this (yesterday) morning and I could not believe what I was reading," said former defender Frank "Dealer" Nyamukuta.

CAPS Holdings human resources manager and former CAPS United chairman Julius Chifokoyo called on the football fraternity to give Billiat a "proper send-off".

"It is with a sad heart that we have learnt of the death of Billiat. Times are hard but there are always people with compassion so that we give our friend a decent burial and a proper send-off," said Chifokoyo. Billiat, who was 38 and is survived by two daughters, was serving a 15-year jail term for raping his daughter.

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