Gidiza still miss­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

LEG­ENDARY Zim­bab­wean foot­baller Ron­ald “Gidiza” Sibanda’s where­abouts were still shrouded in mys­tery yes­ter­day evening as he was still to re­port home de­spite mak­ing a call to his mother on Thurs­day evening.

Gidiza’s mother Sithokozile Sibanda said Ron­ald called on the fam­ily’s land­line and said he was on his way home from Beit­bridge. He never came.

“He phoned me last night (Tues­day) and said they were on their way from Beit­bridge but now it’s af­ter mid­day and he still hasn’t come home while his mo­bile phones are still off. I am very wor­ried be­cause even his friend Mphathisi Ndlovu has not been seen,” said Sibanda yes­ter­day.

Ron­ald is be­lieved to have phoned on the land­line to avoid be­ing eas­ily traced.

Sibanda said she was a lit­tle bit com­forted on hear­ing her son’s voice as it con­firmed that he was at least still alive.

Gidiza left his fam­ily’s New Loben­gula home on Sun­day for Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium and has not been seen since, forc­ing his fam­ily to make a miss­ing per­son re­port with the po­lice. By yes­ter­day evening, the for­mer War­riors and Zim­babwe Saints play­maker who also had stints with Dy­namos, AmaZulu and now de­funct Njube Sun­downs’ two mo­bile phones were still switched off.

Some sources said the lanky Ron­ald’s friends might have taken him out on a birth­day cel­e­brat­ing spree as he turned 40 on Mon­day.

It was also later es­tab­lished that so­cial me­dia re­ports that he was seen in the com­pany of a for­mer War­riors star based in South Africa were ac­tu­ally not true as the said star was spot­ted to­gether with his fam­ily at a so­cial match fea­tur­ing re­tired play­ers and Unity Vil­lage in Bu­l­awayo.

“Bon­gani (Mafu) phoned from Botswana to in­quire whether he has fi­nally come home only to be told that ‘not as yet’ and I am re­ally sad­dened,” said Sibanda.

Mafu is Ron­ald’s brother and a post on his Face­book wall on Thurs­day was cryp­tic as it likened Gidiza’s an­tics to those of leg­endary Manch­ester United striker Ge­orge Best who had a bril­liant ca­reer on the field but was plagued by al­co­hol demons off it.

Fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions of Ron­ald’s disp­pear­ing acts, Mafu — the for­mer High­landers coach who is now based in Botswana — quipped: “I am con­vinced we have a GE­ORGE BEST in my fam­ily”.

Best died in 2005 at the age of 59 af­ter bat­tling al­co­hol ad­dic­tion for the bet­ter part of his life.

An­other soc­cer great and liv­ing leg­end, Paul “Gazza” Gas­coigne, is a pale shadow of his for­mer self af­ter see­ing his for­tunes nose­dive due to al­co­hol abuse.

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