DeMbare remember the nine they lost
By Eddie Chikamhi
She still bears the physical wounds from the accident that happened five years ago, resulting in the death of nine Dynamos supporters.
Mollen Macheme, who was among the 16 survivors, joined the DeMbare faithful who took their time, to remember their departed colleagues, yesterday.
Tragedy struck the DeMbare family on June 11, 2016, when a kombi carrying Dynamos supporters to Gweru, to cheer their team on in a league match against Chapungu, burst a rear tyre at the 173-kilometre peg near Battlefields.
There were nine deaths, and 16 injuries, including Vitalis Chironga of Crowborough, who is still walking on crutches.
Maxwell Machisi has since been confined to a wheelchair.
Macheme fractured both arms and escaped with serious head injuries which still haunt her to this day.
The Chitungwiza-based mother has called on the Glamour Boys to play for the departed, when they face Harare City, in a Chibuku Super Cup match at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.
“I think that was the darkest day in the history of Dynamos. I still remember that day as if it’s yesterday.
“We are appealing to the team to play for us in the game against Harare City.
“Of course, we are not putting them under unnecessary pressure, but we believe a win would help soothe some of the pain we are feeling right now,” said Macheme.
DeMbare supporters, who included Galileo Muchemwa, Spencer Gwasira, Prince Nheweyembwa, Rukudzo Mahupete, Patience Murefu, Peter Maemba, Kimberly Nduku, Violet Tauzeni and Rast Nezandoyi, perished in that accident.
“I am grateful to God for preserving my life but I fractured both hands in that accident. I still feel the pain.
‘‘It is a nightmare every time winter comes around, the pain becomes unbearable.
“I can’t do my routine household chores. I depend on others to help me, even with the simple things like cooking.
‘‘I also suffered head injuries and, whenever it’s cold, the pain is just too much.
‘‘That’s what I have been going through in the last five years,” said Macheme.
As has become the norm, Dynamos fans are planning to hold a memorial service next week at the National Sports Stadium, where the families of the deceased will be handed food hampers.
They have been doing this since 2017, with the help of their various chapters, and the corporate world.
“The supporters’ leadership in Harare have set June 20 for the event. Last year we were honoured to have coach Tonderai Ndiraya, and officials, from the club.
“Ndiraya promised to introduce the new players to the survivors of the accident to remind that this club has such passionate fans who risk bone and limb to rally behind the team.
“It’s something that should motivate them.
‘‘Unfortunately, because of Covid-19, supporters are not allowed into the stadium,” said Macheme.
DeMbare cheerleader, Chris “Romario” Musekiwa, appealed to the football community, and the corporate world, to join hands in assisting the families who lost their loved ones, some of them breadwinners.
“In trying to have a befitting commemoration, we will be host the annual commemoration event, where families of the deceased, and the injured, will be blessed with some humpers and clothing items.
“We kindly encourage our members, and well-wishers, for donations of any kind through the Harare Dynamos Supporters Association.
“The event is set for June 20 and preparations are at an advanced stage.
‘‘Tears may dry but memories will never fade. May their dear souls continue to rest in peace,” said Musekiwa
Meanwhile, days after a morale-boosting encounter with their former player Tino Kadewere, Harare City are looking to raise their momentum in the Chibuku Super Cup.
Kadewere, who has revealed he was rejected by the Glamour Boys, brought some warmth into the City camp, after the side had experienced turmoil, in the past few weeks.
The France-based forward, who is now playing for Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon, recently donated two set of kits, to the Sunshine Boys, to thank the outfit for the role they played, in his career.
And, this week, he visited the team and shared words of encouragement with the players, ahead of the game against Dynamos.
Harare City have had a slow start in this competition, after drawing their opening three games.
However, they picked up their first win, in the tournament last week, when they edged Herentals 2-1.
With six points in the bag, they have managed to slash the gap between them and log leaders DeMbare, to just two points.
Coach Lloyd Chitembwe will be banking on the experience of players like William Manondo, who holds the record for the most goals in this tournament.
Attacking midfielder Clive Rupiya, newboy Dinoleen Masukuta and former DeMbare forward, Emmanuel Mandiranga, could also drive them forward.
Tatenda Tavengwa and Ben Musaka are expected to be engaged in fierce midfield battles with the DeMbare trio of Shadreck Nyahwa, Trevor Mavhunga and Barnabas Mushunje.
Dynamos coach, Tonderai Ndiraya, has maintained they want to complete the first round of the tournament, at the top of the table.
“There’s still so much competition in the group and every team has a chance of qualifying to the next stage,” said Ndiraya.
“So, it’s still early days, and of course, we want to make sure that we collect as many points as we can, in these first round matches.’’
Today: Herentals vs Yadah (11 am at National Sports Stadium), Dynamos vs Harare City (3pm at National Sports Stadium)
Sunday: ZPC Kariba vs CAPS United (1 pm at National Sports Stadium). The Herald