The government, through the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, has joined the nation in mourning Black Rhinos legend, Gift “Guava” Kamuriwo.
He died at a military hospital on Tuesday at the age of 46.
He will be laid to rest at Glen Forest Cemetery this afternoon.
Youth, Sport and Recreation Deputy Minister, Tino Machakaire, yesterday visited the Kamuriwo residence to console his family and the football fraternity.
He was accompanied by the director of sports in the Ministry, Eugenia Chidhakwa, Premier Soccer League chairman, Farai Jere, as well as officials from the Sports and Recreation Commission.
“Kamuriwo (Gift) was a humble and quiet player, who was extremely talented in the field of play, a rare breed of a player,” said Machakaire.
“I watched him several times in the early 2000s, while he was mesmerising opponents in the middle of the park.
“There are not many midfielders like him. It’s unfortunate he is gone but most, certainly, his legacy will live with us forever. I would like to urge those following his footsteps to remain humble.
“We are here to celebrate the life of a legend but one thing that pains me the most is that he has passed on when he was still very young.”
Machakaire said Kamuriwo would have made a huge impact in the game’s development.
“I know, in football terms, he has left behind several projects which would have helped nurture future stars of the game,” he said.
“I understand he had keen interest in coaching and you can imagine how many players he would have groomed in the next 10 years.
“I heard about Kamuriwo’s death on Tuesday and I was so devastated, that’s the reason why I decided to come here in person.
“I would like to say to the Kamuriwo family that they take comfort in the knowledge that you are not the only ones who have lost a beloved one, the country is also mourning as they have lost a football hero.”
Machakaire pledged to foot some of the funeral expenses.
Jere, who is also the CAPS United president, revealed how he tried, unsuccessfully, to snatch Kamuriwo from Rhinos.
He said the midfielder caught his eye in a crucial Premiership match on the final day of the 2005 season.
Makepekepe, needing an outright win to defend their league title, lost 0-3 to the army side at the National Sports Stadium.
“I tried to have Kamuriwo come to CAPS United. I wanted to sign him and Muhoni (Lazarus) but I only managed to take the latter, rather late,” said Muhoni.
“We wanted to take Kamuriwo because of his ability but you know it was hard.
“He had a lengthy contract with Rhinos and we ended up failing in our efforts.
“I am saddened by his passing on. He was a cool guy on and off the pitch. He is one guy you would meet and start talking football. His knowledge of the game was incredible.
“May his soul rest in peace.”