HE was there in the trenches when they formed Dynamos in 1963 and rose to become its leader but yesterday, less than two months before the Glamour Boys turn 50, Richard Chiminya passed away. Chiminya, who was 79 and chairman of the Dynamos board of directors, died at Parirenyatwa Hospital yesterday, plunging the whole Dynamos family into deep mourning.
During his leadership of the board, Chiminya managed to bring sanity to the usually volatile Harare giants.
Family spokesperson, Ignatius Chombo, who is also Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister, said burial arrangements would be announced soon.
"Mr Richard Chiminya, chairman and founder of Dynamos Football Club has died.
"He died at Parirenyatwa Hospital after a short illness. He is survived by his wife Juanita, two daughters and a son who is in the United Kingdom.
"Burial arrangements will be announced in due course," said Chombo in a statement.
Yesterday, Chiminya's fellow board members and the Dynamos executive converged at his home in Mabelreign to pay their last respects. Robson Rundaba, who is the finance director in the founding fathers' board, said this was a sad day for Dynamos.
Dynamos chairman Kenny Mubaiwa described Chiminya's death as a big blow to the club.
"We are all shocked to learn that Chiminya has died," said Rundaba. "At the moment we do not know where to start.
"As the board, we are going to meet at his house tonight (last night) and then take it from there. For now we cannot say much before the family speaks." Rundaba said he had a chat with Chiminya last week after his colleague complained of tonsils. "Last week he complained of tonsils and he was hoping to see the team doctor," said Rundaba.
"We thought it was the normal tonsils and never expected that it would end up like this."
His death, said Rundaba, had created a vacuum in leadership at the club.
"He was a good leader. He was a team leader and very strict on his principles.
"To me, personally, he was good leader," he said. Rundaba said he started interacting with Chiminya in 1964. I started knowing him when Dynamos was formed.
"But I started working closely with him in 1964 because I joined the club a year later and was helping as an official," said Rundaba.
Mubaiwa said his executive committee would also stand guided by the Dynamos board.
"As a club, we wait for the directive from the board. But we are saddened by his death. As the club executive, we were hoping to go and see him and update him on our success in the Mbada Diamonds Cup. He was a man who was keen about football and it's a big loss.
"On behalf of the executive and the players, we pay our deepest condolences to his family.
"His loss is not only for Dynamos but for all football lovers, whether it's CAPS United or any other team. We are on the verge of retaining the league and the Mbada Cup and it's sad that he died before we had achieved the feat," said Mubaiwa.
Prominent Dynamos fan, Chris Musekiwa, urged the Dynamos family to remain united as they mourn their leader.
"I think it's a big loss because Mudhara Chiminya was a leader to the team. It's sad that he died just before the Golden Jubilee.
"He had done a lot for the team and Dynamos has been calm.
"I hope that the club remains united," said Musekiwa.