The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has mourned the passing on of the city’s soccer icon, Ndumiso Gumede Wednesday saying he will be remembered for his role in steering the Highlanders Football Club towards community consciousness through their involvement with Jairos Jiri Association and Entembeni Old People’s Home.
Gumede, (76) died after a short illness at a local hospital where he had been admitted after complaining of abdominal pains.
The former Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) vice president’s untimely departure came barely a week after the football fraternity honoured him for his contribution to the development of soccer in the country.
“His Worship Solomon Mguni, the Mayor, Aldermen, Councillors, Town Clerk, Mr C Dube, Heads of Council departments and Staff of the City of Bulawayo have learnt with sadness of the passing on of Mr Ndumiso Emmanuel Gumede, a Civic Honours recipient,” said the local authority in a statement.
“Mr Gumede was awarded the Civic Honours Award on the 18th November 2005 in recognition of his sterling work in soccer administration, development and cultural promotion. His personal sacrifices towards the running and funding of his favourite football club epitomized a Civic Honour and brought distinction to the city outside his normal day to day duties.
Added BCC: “He will be remembered for his role in steering the Highlanders Football Club towards community consciousness through their involvement with Jairos Jiri Association and Entembeni Old People’s Home. He also played a pivotal role in the development of soccer nationally where he spearheaded the Goal Project and Physical Education Programme, which have left an enduring legacy in soccer, both in and out schools.”
During Gumede’s days at ZIFA, BCC said, he represented Zimbabwe in international football and participated in twinning meetings between Bulawayo and Aberdeen in the process bringing sports into focus.
“The City of Bulawayo is saddened by the passing on of Ndumiso Gumede and his passion for Highlanders and Zimbabwean football will be treasured for many years to come. May his soul rest in peace,” said the local authority.