BY FORTUNE MBELE
FORMER Warriors manager and ex-Highlanders chairman Ernerst “Maphepha” Sibanda, who died on Tuesday will be laid to rest at Lady Stanley Cemetery this morning.
Football stakeholders, the business community and Bulawayo residents are expected to throng the Bulawayo Amphitheatre where a church service will be held before proceeding to Lady Stanley for the burial.
Lady Stanley Cemetery is reserved for the city’s luminaries and the local authority decides who is to be buried there.
Speaking for the Sibanda family, Bosso legend Zenzo Moyo confirmed yesterday that the former Highlanders manager, who won four titles with the Bulawayo giants as an administrator, would be laid to rest today.
“The plan is, we are going to Nyaradzo (Funeral Services) now (yesterday) for a small service and then there will be a roadshow that will take him to Njube to the family house.
“Tomorrow (today), the main funeral service will be at 8am at the Amphitheatre before we proceed to Lady Stanley for the burial,” Moyo said.
Sibanda left behind five daughters and two sons.
The charismatic Sibanda was snatched by Highlanders from Cone Textiles in the late 1970s and won a considerable number of trophies with Bosso, but did not stay for long.
At Highlanders, he played alongside greats like Tymon Mabaleka and Lawrence Phiri, among others.
He moved to Harare where he joined Caps United, playing alongside Stix Mutizwa and the late trio of Joel Shambo, Shacky Tauro and Stanley Nduduma.
He was to return to the City of Kings and Queens in the mid-1980s, taking up the role of manager and later chairman at Highlanders.
Due to his brilliant motivational skills, Sibanda also became Warriors manager.
Although his stint was marred by the infamous Asiagate scandal, he is credited for volunteering information that led to the smooth investigation of the matter by Zifa.
Sibanda was later to become chief of protocol at the now-defunct Bantu Rovers and at death, he was board member at Bulawayo City Football Club.
Other sport personalities buried at Lady Stanley are boxing legend Philip “Striker” Ndlovu, former Highlanders midfielder Richard Choruma, Bosso greats Adam Ndlovu and Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo.
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