Mh­langa to get Lady Stan­ley burial

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

THE late High­landers Foot­ball Club pres­i­dent Jonathan Themba Mh­langa will be laid to rest at the Lady Stanely Ceme­tery in Bu­l­awayo to­mor­row.

Mh­langa, one of the first black busi­ness per­sons in the city and an as­tute sports ad­min­is­tra­tor, died at the Pre­mier Ser­vices Hos­pi­tal in Hill­side on Thurs­day af­ter­noon fol­low­ing a long bat­tle with an ill­ness linked to old age. He was 81. His son and fam­ily spokesper­son Lenox ex­pressed his fam­ily’s ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the hon­our given to his fa­ther.

“The old man will be laid to rest at Lady Stan­ley ceme­tery on Sun­day. As a fam­ily we re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the hon­our that the City Fathers con­ferred on my fa­ther. Maybe its be­cause of the im­mense con­tri­bu­tion that they feel he did to the City of Bu­l­awayo,” said Lenox.

He said soon after news of his fa­ther’s death spread, con­do­lence mes­sages from all over the world started pour­ing in.

“Peo­ple from across the globe have been our pil­lar of strength since news of his pass­ing on broke while lo­cally a num­ber of mourn­ers have been pay­ing a visit to the fam­ily home and its re­ally com­fort­ing. My fa­ther was a very re­served per­son, some­one who would not go out there to seek hon­our and that is a huge les­son and chal­lenge for us,” said Lenox.

Mean­while, High­landers yes­ter­day said Mh­langa’s death has robbed the Bosso in­sti­tu­tion of a “big shel­ter”.

High­landers board of di­rec­tors sec­re­tary gen­eral Jimmy Ncube paid his con­do­lence on be­half of the club lead­er­ship.

“We We a are e emp­tye pty as a c club,ub, t thee mana was the head of High­landers. He pro­vided that much needed shel­ter and as High­landers we are re­ally sad­dened by his death,” said Ncube, speak­ing soon after a church ser­vice at the Mh­langa fam­ily home at Mat­sheumhlophe last night.

Among those in at­ten­dance were mem­bers of the board who in­cluded for­mer board chair­man Du­misani Sandi, Mathew Sibindi, Davies Sibanda as well as the club chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ndu­miso Gumede.

High­landers’ long­time bene­fac­tor and Min­is­ter of Wel­fare Ser­vices for War Veter­ans, War Col­lab­o­ra­tors, For­mer Po­lit­i­cal De­tainees and Restrictees, who is also the Makokoba Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, Tshinga Dube was also in at­ten­dance.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, Zifa have sent a con­do­lence mes­sage to the Mh­langa fam­ily and High­landers as an in­sti­tu­tion fol­low­ing the pass­ing on of the club pres­i­dent.

Zifa com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Xolisani Gwe­sela, ex­pressed shock and dis­may at the pass­ing on of the renowned foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tor.

“We have learnt with great shock and dis­may of the death of Mh­langa, one of the finest gen­tle­men in Zim­bab­wean foot­ball.

“He was a pil­lar of strength both in the com­mu­nity and at High­landers as well as the foot­ball fam­ily at large,” said Gwe­sela in a state­ment.

He com­mended Mh­langa’s price­less con­tri­bu­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of foot­ball in Bu­l­awayo and Zim­babwe as a whole.

“He had out­stand­ing abil­i­ties and qual­i­ties that came through hard work and he had un­ri­valled love and com­mit­ment for the beau­ti­ful game and his com­mu­nity.

“He was one of the most re­spected sports ad­min­is­tra­tors in Zim­babwe and his departure is a huge loss to foot­ball.

“Zifa is in mourn­ing with his fam­ily, High­landers FC, friends and the lo­cal foot­bal­lootba fam­ilya y as ev­ery­oneeve yo e grap­plesg app es w witht the shock­ing loss.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mh­langa fam­ily in this time of grief and we en­cour­age them to seek com­fort and so­lace in the Almighty. May his soul rest in eter­nal peace,” said the Zifa com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager. Mh­langa is sur­vived by wife Marvis, seven chil­dren, three girls and four boys, 13 grand­chil­dren and two great-grand­chil­dren.

Mourn­ers are gath­ered at Num­ber 25 Antrim Road, Mat­sheumhlophe. The late Bosso pres­i­dent’s body will to­day lie in state at his Mat­sheumhlophe house with a church ser­vice set for the Pres­by­te­rian Church in Makokoba at 8AM to­mor­row be­fore

burial at Lady Stan­ley.

Mourn­ers lis­ten to the word of God dur­ing a church ser­vice for the late High­landers pres­i­dent Jonathan Themba Mh­langa at his Mat­sheumhlophe home last night. — (Pic: For­tune Muzara­bani)

Jonathan Themba Mh­langa

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