FORMER Warriors manager Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda has died aged 64
According to his business partner Farai Chirongoma, Maphepha passed on at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo yesterday after battling with colon cancer and diabetes.
“He (Sibanda) had been suffering from diabetes and cancer of the colon. He passed away at Mater Dei Hospital. As we speak, family members are in a meeting to map the way forward, but they decided not to gather because of COVID-19. He was a people’s person and if people gather, the whole of Bulawayo will throng that place. Further information will come from the family,” Chirongoma said.
In a statement, Highlanders mourned their former player, team manager and chairman, who won several accolades with the Bulawayo football giants.
“It’s a dark day for the club, a dark day for Zimbabwean football. Former player, manager and chairman Ernest ‘Maphepha’ Sibanda has died,” Highlanders said.
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) also mourned Maphepha.
“A huge loss to Zimbabwean football as we mourn the death of football legend Ernest Sibanda. His commitment and contributions to the game as a player, manager, national team manager and Highlander chairman will always be cherished,” the PSL said.
At the time of his death, Sibanda was board member at Bulawayo City Football Club.
“The board, executive, technical team, secretariat, players and Bulawayo City FC family would like to express their heartfelt condolences to the Sibanda family, friends and football fraternities for the loss of their father, friend, mentor and board member Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda. A great man not only in football, but in life. He touched and mentored so many great footballers and supporters and leaves a legacy that will shine continually for years to come. Rest in peace Ernest Sibanda. We pray for comfort for every life you impacted,” the club said.