CONDOLENCES for former Highlanders midfielder Charles Chilufya, who died in Zambia on Sunday, continued to trickle in yesterday, with Zifa and Bosso paying their homage.
Chilufya, who set the local football scene alight at the turn of the millennium, helping Highlanders to back-to-back championships, died at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka and was buried yesterday in his homeland.
In their message, Zifa said: “The Zimbabwe Football Association joins the nation in mourning the passing of legendary former footballers, Hamid “Muzukuru” Dhana and Charles “Chief” Chilufya on 29 September.
“Chilufya played for Premier Soccer League sides Hwange FC, Railstars FC and Highlanders FC and was one of the key players in the Caf Champions League then under Eddie May.
“Together with the likes of Zenzo Moyo, Joel Luphahla, Thabani Masawi, Amon Chimbalanga, Bekithemba Ndlovu and Tapiwa Kapini, they changed the face of the top flight with their never say never spirit.
“Speedy and skillful Dhana played for Dynamos FC, Arcadia, Black Rhinos FC and the national team, forming fearsome combinations with various players.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of former footballers Hamid Dhana and Charles Chilufya who passed on on 29 September 2019.
“It is indeed a sad moment when football loses one of its own, and its worse when we lose two on the same day.
“We convey our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the dearly departed as well as the whole local football family,” said Zifa.
The Premier Soccer League also expressed its condolences to Dhana and Chilufya’s families.
“Sad day for Zim football as we mourn the death of former football stars Hamid Dhana and Charles Chilufya.
Our deepest condolences to the Dhana and Chilufya families, friends and the entire football fraternity.
“May their Souls Rest in Peace,” said PSL.
Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe said they were gutted by Chilufya’s death.
“This is a great loss to the Highlanders family. Chilufya has a special place in the history of the club.
“For a club like ours that has seen former players coming back to coach the club, I think we have been robbed by death.
“Who knows? Maybe he would have came back to coach Highlanders had he lived beyond today.
“I would like to pass my condolences to Zambian football, the Chilufya family and to all Highlanders supporters for this great loss,” said Mhlophe.
Hwange great Weekly Mwale described Chilufya as a “midfield general”.
United Arab Emirates based former Highlanders rightback Noel Kaseke said: “It is with a heavy heart I say Rest In Peace “Chief” an amazing midfielder with an eye for goals. Scored spectacular goals during our time together in the glory years at Bosso.
“A great man, a gentleman and larger than life “mafana mafana” will miss u.
“May God give comfort and peace to your loved ones.”