BY FORTUNE MBELE
The funeral of former Warriors and Highlanders midfielder Richard Choruma is set to be a low-key event, with only a few close family members and probably a handful of friends allowed due to COVID-19 regulations.
Choruma will be buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo on Saturday.
He died in South Africa last week and plans are that his body will be flown to Bulawayo on Friday and be buried the next day.
The funeral wake and burial were expected to attract several people as a funeral procession to Barbourfields Stadium and a memorial service at MacDonald Hall had been planned.
However, clarifying the new lockdown rules to be reviewed on January 31, Information secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana said: “Gatherings are reduced to not more than 30 people at all funerals. All other gatherings at weddings, churches, bars, bottlestores, gymnasiums, restaurants, et cetera, are banned for 30 days.”
It means that Choruma will not receive the grand send off that Highlanders usually gives to its sons.
Meanwhile, Premier Soccer League chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele, who was Highlanders secretary-general when Choruma joined the Bulawayo giants at the turn of the century, has paid tribute to the late midfield star.
“I have learnt with shock and sadness of the untimely passing of Richard Choruma, an intelligent, disciplined and very talented footballer. I will always cherish the memories I shared with him from 2000 until his untimely passing. Choruma showed great leadership qualities, both off and on the field. He was a role model for young players and will be greatly missed. Goodbye Richo,” Ndebele said.
Choruma, who died aged 42, was part of the three-time championship-winning Highlanders side in 2000, 2001 and 2003 when Ndebele was club secretary-general.
He also played in the Caf Champions League back then, scoring three goals for Highlanders in inter-club continental competitions.
At the time of his death, Choruma had ventured into the football equipment business and had a keen interest in junior football development.