A former premier soccer league player with the defunct Delma Lupepe-owned Bulawayo side Amazulu, was thoroughly beaten together with two other thieving colleagues after they were caught red-handed, stealing kitchen utensils which included plates and pots at a funeral in the populous Emakhandeni suburb last Monday.
According to sources, the ex-Amakhosi midfield maestro Mike Zivira, widely known as Para in soccer circles, and two of his partners in crime, were spotted shoving a sack full of kitchen utensils under the seat of a Toyota Quantum which they were travelling in. Upon being questioned by mourners and family members who were at the funeral, Para and his colleagues allegedly failed to give a satisfactory answer and mob justice subsequently befell them.
“It was around 1pm on Monday this week after the burial of Nkonzo Ndiweni. People had dispersed and most of the family members were in the house having a meeting. Para, who was in the company of his friend Albert “Shoes” Magoboyi and another unknown guy were spotted shoving a sack that had plates, pots and teapots under the seat of a cross-border car that they were travelling in,” a relative who declined to be named said.
The source also added that a relative quickly alerted other members who pummeled the thieving trio with open hands and kicks while onlookers hurled unprintable insults at the shameless thieves. After they were flogged, the three were asked to apologise for the crime they had committed.
“They apologised to family elders and after that they were set free,” the source revealed.
But, speaking in an interview, Para dismissed the allegations as false and said it was, instead, Magoboyi and their other colleague who were beaten up for stealing the kitchen utensils at the funeral.
“Although I was with them I did not steal. Shoes (Magoboyi) and the other friend of mine are the ones who were beaten by mourners at a funeral accusing them of stealing,” he said.
Apart from Amazulu, the other teams which Para played for include Blue Swallows and Railstars.
Concerns have been raised for the need to financially cushion local footballers especially when their careers come to an end. Most Zimbabwean players have died as mere paupers after years in the game synonymous with little or no financial appreciation.