THE domestic football family was once again plunged into mourning following the death of former Dynamos chairman Farai Munetsi.
Munetsi died yesterday morning at the Avenues Clinic in Harare after a long battle with a kidney problem.
Mourners are gathered at Number 81 Cheam Road, Marlborough.
Munetsi was a staunch Dynamos supporter and also served in the Glamour Boys executive committee in different capacities and was the club’s chairman until 2011.
He was also the Nestle Zimbabwe corporate communications and public affairs manager.
Premier Soccer League chairman Farai Jere, who joined a host of football administrators from across the football divide at Munetsi’s home last night said the death of the former DeMbare boss had robbed the game of one of its most dedicated leaders.
“He was passionate about football and I saw it befitting to join the football family in mourning this hero of our game.
“Farai leaves a lot of memories, our football still had a lot to learn from him and it is poorer without him.
“During his tenure at Dynamos, the club didn’t endure financial problems and even when he was not the leader, he still facilitated sponsorship for their Champions League campaign, which exemplified the true cadre of the game he was. I understand he also used to help a lot with support for the Mighty Warriors,’’ Jere said.
Ex-DeMbare secretary-general Brian Kashangura said Munetsi was an astute leader who had wanted to turn the club into a true business entity during his time in the club’s executive.
“I am saddened by the passing on of Farai Munetsi, who was chairman during my time as secretary-general at Dynamos, while Kenny Mubaiwa was vice-chairman.
“It is me and the late Richard Chiminya who convinced the late Munetsi to accept the post.
“He wanted to turn the club into a business model.
“He really loved Dynamos. The current leadership has lost direction as things speak for themselves. I say Farai go well until we meet again. May your soul rest in peace,” said Kashangura.
Munetsi also worked with a number of people at Dynamos, who included Mubaiwa as vice chairman, Kashangura, Simon Sachiti, Harrison Mbewe, Oliver Manyau, Nyika Chifamba and John Kanokanga.
He was, however, swept away by the politics at Dynamos in 2011 after the board of directors issued a directive to dissolve the executive and paved the way for the ascendancy of Mubaiwa.
CAPS United board member Abraham Kawadza, who is also a brother-in-law to Munetsi, said the former DeMbare boss was a humble man who worked as tirelessly for football as he did for his family.
“He was my brother-in-law, a brother to my wife, so we have not only lost a football hero, but also a family hero.
“He was a family pillar and unifier and we are looking at laying him to rest in Domboshawa on Saturday afternoon. His body will come home on Friday and lie in state ahead of the burial,’’ Kawadza said.
Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro said he was saddened by the news of Munetsi’s death.
“We worked together with Munetsi for some years at Dynamos and we got along well. I knew him from long back, even before we met at Dynamos.
“We went to the same primary school at Mbizi in Highfield. But he was closer to David Mandigora,” said Chihoro.
Former Dynamos player and coach David “Yogi” Mandigora said he had lost a friend. Mandigora, who led DeMbare to a domestic league and cup double in 2007 and crucially the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2008, said Munetsi played a big role during the successful African safari.
“We grew up together with Munetsi in Highfield supporting Dynamos. I then went on to play for the club and returned as coach.
“Because of his love for the club, he came and joined the executive at some stage and he helped us a lot during the days when we played in the Champions League.
“He was in management at Nestle Zimbabwe and he managed to convince the company to help us materially.
“We have lost a very good man,” said Mandigora.
Former PSL treasurer Manyau, who worked with Munetsi at DeMbare, described him as a visionary and fearless fighter for football.
“He really fought for football and it was because of him that Dynamos secured the BancABC deal after the termination of the Savannah Tobacco deal.
“Not only was he passionate and involved in developing football, but he was also coordinating Nestle’s support for athletics and he supported a lot of young talented athletes by paying their school fees,’’ Manyau said.
Former Dynamos chairman Simon Makaza said Munetsi had admirable marketing skills which he showed when led the ZIFA marketing crew for the Warriors’ Nations Cup qualifying showdown against Nigeria at the National Sports Stadium in 2004.
“He often assisted with sponsorship for the Mighty Warriors as well, but he always shied away from seeking publicity or credit for it.
“We learnt a lot from working with him in the marketing team for the Warriors match. May his soul rest in peace,’’ Makaza said.