THE body of football great, Rahman “Dr Rush” Gumbo, is expected to arrive in the country from Francistown, Botswana, today.
Gumbo died in the neighbouring country last Friday at the Francistown Academic Hospital where he was admitted after falling sick at his Palapye home.
Family spokesperson, Zeblon Mhlanga, said while they did not have the exact time of when the body would arrive tomorrow, all the necessary paperwork to repatriate the body of the Zimbabwe football icon had been completed.
“There have been some positive developments. All the necessary paperwork to repatriate the body has been completed and the body of our late hero is set to arrive in the country tomorrow (today).
“We wouldn’t know of the exact time because we think that will also depend on the border procedures.
“We have, however, told our family members in Botswana to get in touch with us as soon as they reach Ramokgwebana Border Post because there are some family members who have expressed their willingness to meet the Botswana travelling team at Figtree,” said Mhlanga.
He said the burial place of the legend would be subject to family discussions despite Bulawayo City Council dutifully according him a spot at Lady Stanley where some prominent football personalities were buried.
“A memorial service will be held at Bulawayo’s Amphitheatre on Friday from 2pm and a funeral service will be held on Saturday starting from 7am.
“We are grateful that the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has offered us a grave at Lady Stanley Cemetery, but that is still subject to consent by family members.”
It is at Lady Stanley Cemetery that Bulawayo’s top sportspersons that include Gumbo’s ex-Warriors and Bosso teammates Mercedes “Rambo” Sibanda, Willard Mashinkila Khumalo and Adam “Adamski” Ndlovu were buried.
The place also has Tymon Mabaleka, Barry Daka and Chipo Soko.
The ex-Warriors mentor’s death came a few days after he had parted ways with Botswana Premier Soccer League outfit Morupule Wanderers.
Nyaradzo Funeral Services has donated flood lights, chairs, tents and mobile toilets to the Gumbo family.
The late Gumbo had fruitful stints in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Malawi where he won league titles.
He made history by winning championship trophies as a coach in three different countries.
In Botswana, he coached some top Batswana clubs that include Gaborone United, Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs among others.
Besides coaching Highlanders at home, Gumbo had coaching jobs at CAPS United, Buymore, Bulawayo Wanderers, Bulawayo Chiefs, FC Platinum, at the now defunct Motor Action and Chicken Inn.
He is survived by his wife Virginia Gumbo, four children — Bukhosi, Mkhuseli, Mandisa and Thabo.
Mourners are gathered at 13 Lendy Road, North End in Bulawayo.