The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Big Send-Off for Chiminya

DYNAMOS patron, Webster Shamu, yesterday challenged the surviving members of the club's board of directors to uphold the institution's values, integrity and the spirit of hard work that has made the Glamour Boys a successful story in the last 49 years.

Shamu, the Minister of Media and Information and Publicity, was speaking at the burial of the club's board of directors' chairman, Richard Chiminya, who died at the age of 79 this week after complaining of tonsillitis.

Chiminya was buried at the Warren Hills cemetery.

The domestic football fraternity yesterday paid its last respects to the late founding father of one of the country's biggest clubs who was hailed by many as the stabilising factor.

"This is the man in whose hands the future and success of the club lay," said Shamu.

"To the surviving leaders of Dynamos, I call upon you to strive to develop values that are timeless, values that are at the heart and soul of DeMbare, values that bind everyone associated with the club.

"You should strive to do that in view of the fact that there is something that makes Dynamos Football Club unique. That is the very thing that attracts more soccer fans, players and sponsors to this institution that always captures the imagination and attention of the country.

"You should also not lose sight of the fact that the community is at the heart of DeMbare. Listen and respect the views of everyone.

'Above, all operate with integrity at all times. We must never fail those who have contributed to the establishment of this institution we call DeMbare.

"As we lay him to rest, we ask soccer administrators in the country to seize this opportunity to conduct self-introspection.

"We have to ask ourselves whether we are imaginatively directing, guiding, supervising and constructively influencing the work of the institutions and the clubs we lead for the good of the people's game in Zimbabwe. If not what are we doing for the good of the people's game?"

Chiminya was given a big send-off as scores of people ranging from the club's supporters, football administrators, politicians, businesspeople, current and former players came to pay their last homage.

Shamu said the Dynamos family was shocked with the loss of a father figure at a time when the club was enjoying stability and good form in the local league and cup competitions.

He said that it was painful to swallow the reality that Chiminya will not be present when DeMbare celebrate their Golden Jubilee anniversary next year.

"Today is a very sombre and dark moment for the Chiminya family, Dynamos Football Club and the entire football fraternity in the country.

"Today we bid farewell to one of the most illustrious sons of Dynamos Football Club, a man who was there when the club was formed in 1963, a man the club has tragically lost when the Glamour Boys are on the verge of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of one of the country's most popular clubs.

"His passing on is all the more tragic as the club is on the verge of clinching the league championship and the Mbada Diamonds Cup, the premier knock-out soccer competition in the country.

"Dynamos Football Club and the Chiminya family have lost a leader, an oasis of tranquillity and stability.

"Leadership is one personality which was evident in him as he led Dynamos Football Club in his capacity as chairman of the board of directors.

"Chiminya was an experienced, intelligent and affable soccer administrator.

"He was a responsible team leader with exceptional ways of managing conflicts whenever the situation became volatile at DeMbare.

"Most of us will agree that when the situation became tricky at DeMbare, he was the one with the calming effect because he could give anyone an ear, making them feel accommodated and important in the affairs of the club. Furthermore, he was an astute organiser who was a vital cog in ensuring that Dynamos remained a ticking and vibrant giant that it remains today.

"He remained a father figure. Richard Chiminya is one hero who will be counted when the history of the sport in Zimbabwe is finally written," said Shamu.

The remaining board members include vice-chairman Freddy Mkwesha, secretary Bernard Marrioti, Robson Rundaba, Owen Chandamale, Charles Gwatidzo, Shake Chitibe, Nathan Maziti and Freddy Muza.

Marriot yesterday said they will continue with the good foundation laid under the leadership of Chiminya and said since Dynamos is now a company, the club's operations will be guided by the Zimbabwe Company's Act.

"The death of Chiminya is a big loss to the team and it will be difficult to replace him because he was a leader par excellence," he said.

"Chiminya played a big role in the formation of the Dynamos Company and from the look of things there are now structures which govern us on how the team should operate.

"There are people who have been waiting to take advantage of situation like this to seize power but let me remind them that they don't stand a chance of taking over the club.

"Dynamos is now called Dynamos Football Club (Pvt) Ltd Company which owns the football club and there are now structures from the Memorandum of Articles of Association of Zimbabwe Company's Act Chapter 24.03 which govern us.

"Dynamos is collectively owned by the directors and shareholders and their business is guided by the Zimbabwe Company's Act."

Dynamos legend, George Shaya, described the death of Chiminya as a huge loss to the DeMbare family and football in general.

"It was a sudden death and I was shocked," said Shaya.

"It's a big loss to the Dynamos family and football in general because if a big family loses a member, it's a huge loss."

Among the people who attended the burial were the Dynamos executive, led by Kenny Mubaiwa, Premier Soccer League chief executive Kenny Ndebele, CAPS United officials led by Maxwell Mironga, Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze, businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, the Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters executive led by Eddie "Mboma" Nyatanga and former Zifa administrator Lazarus Mhurushomana.

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