Kalusha leads tributes for Keegan Mumba

HARARE - The Zambian and Zimbabwean football fraternities have been united in grief following the death of former Dynamos coach Keegan Mumba at a hospital in Lusaka yesterday, with Zambia legend Kalusha Bwalya among those who have paid tribute.

A well-respected club coach in both countries, Mumba passed away in the early hours of yesterday after suffering from undisclosed illness.

Mumba, who had great affinity for Zimbabwe and always professed an undying love for the country he regarded his second home, played club football here for Black Rhinos from 1983 and 1985, teaming up with such fine players as Hamid Dhana, Maronga Nyangela and Stanley "Sinyo" Ndunduma.

Affable and ever-smiling, Mumba would gain enormous popularity in Zimbabwe in 2003-04 after being appointed coach of the country’s most popular team, Dynamos, introducing a quick and attacking football philosophy in a team build around such players as James Matola, Francis Chandida, Musareka Jenitala, Eddie Mashiri, Edmore Mufema and Agent Sawu.

That season, Dynamos were denied a first league title in six years after the being docked points for the use of an ineligible, Mufema.

In a statement, Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya said he learnt of Mumba’s untimely death with “a deep sense of shock and regret,” referring to the late gaffer as Coach Rass "Keegan" Mumba.

“Keegan, was a very talented footballer, one of the products of Zambia Schools and one of the most successful club coaches in Zambia,” said Bwalya.

“The late Mumba's contribution to the development of the game at all levels of the football in Zambia and beyond is undoubted. We have lost a useful cog and voice in our football family.

“We appreciate his contribution and effort to the game. We at football house would like to send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends and we pray to God almighty to comfort his family in this trying moment.

“May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Former Zimbabwe international Lazarus Muhoni, who played under Mumba at Black Rhinos, also paid his respects.

"I received news of his death today (yesterday) and it's really shocking. I worked with him as my coach at Black Rhinos, he was like a father to me," Muhoni told the Daily News yesterday.

"My condolences to his family.”

Mumba joined Rhinos in 2004 after leaving Dynamos with a year still left on his contract.

Former Dynamos midfielder Justice Majabvi Twetted: "Rest in Peace, Mumba.”

Ephraim Mazarura, an ex-Dynamos goalkeeper, said he was pained by the sudden death of Mumba.

"I am shocked, I worked with Mumba as my coach, he was a good coach and great motivator.”

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