By Eddie Chikamhi
The body of the late Dynamos superfan, Freddy “Pasuwa” Mugadza, who died in the United States seven months ago, was expected to land in Harare today for burial.
Mugadza collapsed and died in Atlanta, United States, on April 10, at the age of 42 years.
But, his remains could not be repatriated home, for the past seven months, mainly because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions and the escalating costs of the exercise.
Family spokesperson, Stephen Mujawo Maphosa, yesterday said the family were relieved after they had gone through a difficult period, in the past few months.
They lost another member, Phillip Mugadza, while waiting for the body of Freddy to be brought back home.
Phillip was the brother of the late DeMbare superfan and a former Dynamos chairman.
Maphosa said funeral arrangements were not yet clear by yesterday but there were indications he would be buried next to his brother, Phillip, at Glen Forest next Saturday.
“As a family, we are relieved and, at the same time we are also sad,” said Maphosa.
“This has been the most difficult period in our lives because as we were doing our best efforts to bring back home Freddy, under the most trying of circumstances because of the outbreak of Covid-19, we encountered another tragedy in the family following the death of his brother in August.
“So, it was really difficult for the family. But we are comforted that the body is finally here and will be buried on home soil.
‘’As a family, we are going to meet on Sunday (tomorrow) evening to map the way forward. Burial is likely to take place next week.”
Mugadza was a larger-than-life character who rarely missed DeMbare games.
He relocated to the United States at the turn of the millennium where he was running personal business until his sudden death.
It had been expected the body would be buried or cremated in the United States because of the logistical challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But, the family have made every effort to ensure the football fanatic’s body is repatriated back home.
The body will be taken to a local funeral parlour from the airport while the family works out the funeral arrangements.
Godfrey Mugadza, brother to the late football fanatic, told The Herald in an earlier interview they met several challenges in their quest to repatriate the body.
“As a family, we decided that we should take his body home,” he said.
“There were so many logistical challenges, which we were always going to meet, given these aren’t normal times.
“The novel coronavirus pandemic posed huge challenges but, as a family, we managed to pull through.
“We would like to thank everyone who helped us in processing everything that needed to be done,” said Mugadza.
The late Mugadza’s children were also keen to have the body repatriated so that they can pay their last respects to their father.
One of his children, Tanyaradzwa, penned a moving appeal to friends and relatives.
A Go-Fund-Me campaign could not realise much, forcing close family and friends to go deeper into their pockets.
“My name is Tanyaradzwa Mugadza, I am 19 years old. My beloved father Freddy ‘Pasuwa’ Mugadza who I last saw when I was very young, recently sadly passed away in the USA.
“My father was one of the best men I knew with the biggest heart ever. He was always thinking about others and was well known for uniting all around him, family members’ friends and many others.
“There never was a moment that went by when he wasn’t phoning or messaging someone to try make sure they were okay or just talk and reassure.
“It is with this same love, and unity, that I’m asking for help in raising funds to have his body repatriated to Zimbabwe for burial so (that) myself and his family members can say goodbyes, but also his many friends, who he regarded as family, can also pay their last respects.” The Herald