Ex-footballer Chitato dies

HARARE - Former Zimbabwe international footballer Edmore Chitato passed away yesterday.

Chitato, 34, succumbed to a heart disease on Thursday evening at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare. 

The former Hwange and Monomotapa forward survived by his wife Sibongile Kahondo and two children, Clara aged 14 and five-year-old son, Arshavin.

Mourners are gathered at his parents’ home in Dzivarasekwa and he is expected to be buried today at the Granville Cemetery.

“This is a difficult moment for me, the kids and our families, we have lost a loving husband, a caring father, a son and a bread-winner,” Chitato’s wife told the Daily News yesterday.

“I would like to thank those who found it in their hearts to help my husband during his time of need. I know wherever he is right now you will always have a special place in his heart. May the Good Lord richly bless you.”

In May this year, the Daily News caught up with Chitato, who had been forced to quit the game at the end of 2012 owing to his deteriorating heath, and he spoke glowing of his love for English Premiership side Arsenal and how he ended up naming his son after former Gunners’ striker Andrey Arshavin.

It was clear that he was in pain but he gathered enough strength to talk to this publication.

“The war is still on guys need your assistance. I need cash for transport, reviews and we still owe the doctors money for the period I was admitted recently,” he said.

“Things are a bit tight for me these days, have been receiving help from several well-wishers but the money is just not enough to meet my hospital needs.

“Desmond Maringwa is helping me a lot, I have to go back to the hospital for reviews and am getting bus far from Gazza as we speak.”

Besides Maringwa, who is the president of the Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe, Muzondiwa Mugadza is another former footballer who also chipped in to help Chitato financially during his time of need.

Born in Dzivarasekwa in 1980, Chitato showed that he was a natural striker at an early age for his primary and secondary school teams.

Upon completing his studies, he went on to play for lower division sides such as Willdale, Grain Tigers and Rufaro Rovers.

At Rovers he played together with such players like David Sengu, Prince Kadewere, Herbert Zimbeva and Chewe Mulenga.

Chitato finally got his big break when he joined Hwange in 2001 and went on to play at the Colliery for five seasons.

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