By Munyaradzi Doma
THE sports journalism fraternity yesterday woke up to the shock news of the death of The Herald’s veteran writer Saul Paul Murambiwa Mundandi.
Mundandi (47) died yesterday at the Zvishavane District Hospital after suffering from suspected epileptic fits. Speaking to The Herald at his home in Council Park residence here in Zvishavane, his mother Naomi Mundandi, said the long-serving scribe was admitted to hospital on Tuesday and died yesterday.
She said she was yet to come to terms with her son’s untimely death.
“I can’t even find the words to tell you what really happened but they say he suffered some fits and he was frothing. But I can tell you that he never had these fits, so I’m shocked as to what really happened. Asi kukutaurirai chokwadi chaicho ka, mwana wangu ndofunga akarohwa nezvivanda (he was spiritually attacked). I’m really hurt by his loss, I can’t find the words, I’m really heartbroken,” said Naomi.
Mundandi is survived by his wife Miriam and daughter Mercy Tavonga aged four. She said Mundandi attended school in Chiweshe and Mahusekwa.
“After school he became a geologist, before he joined the Zimbabwe Republic Police and he said he was no longer interested in that and he became a journalist,” she said.
Funeral arrangements were still to be finalised yesterday but relatives said mourners are expected to gather at 4776 Budiriro 3 in Harare. Burial is also set for Harare. Mundandi’s work colleague Grace Chingoma said she was shocked by the sudden death.
“I still cannot believe it that Paul Saul, as we would fondly call him, is no more. I knew him from the time I joined The Herald sports desk as our Zvishavane Correspondent. He was a brother to me and whenever I visited my aunt in Zvishavane during my vacations he would show me around the town. We would talk about everything from football to our families.
“One thing that was dear to him was his daughter Mercy. His eyes would light up when he spoke about her. She was the apple of his eye but unfortunately he is no longer here for his dear Mercy. Paul Saul was a passionate journalist. In fact, that is an understatement, journalism was his life.”
“He would sometimes use his own resources to go and cover stories. With Paul Saul you would be assured of juicy stories and captivating pictures. His work was just unique. Nobody would stand between him and a good story and he was not apologetic. He had his way with people,’’ said Chingoma.
The Sports Journalists Association chairman Ian Zvoma said the fraternity lost a hardworking and dedicated colleague.“Mundandi was a rare breed of journalists who had a passion which saw him going out of his way to cover events which the ordinary journalist shunned. He was also a versatile journalist who ventured into photojournalism over and above his writing skills,” said Zvoma.
PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare said the league was saddened by Mundandi’s passing on.
“It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the untimely passing of seasoned journalist Paul Mundandi. On behalf of the Premier Soccer League Board of Governors, clubs and staff, we would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the Mundandi family, friends, the media and the football fraternity. We will always cherish his passion and dedication to football,” said Bare.
Sports Commission acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere said Mundandi will be greatly missed especially by the Zvishavane community which he brought to the limelight through his stories. ZIFA spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela also sent their condolences.
“ZIFA president Dr Philip Chiyangwa, board members, the national secretariat and the general assembly has learnt with deep sorrow, grief and sadness on the passing on of veteran sports journalist Paul Saul Mundandi. He was a journalist of note, and no one can talk about football in Zvishavane and indeed the Midlands, without mentioning Paul,” said Gwesela. The Herald