Thousands of Big Bullets fans paid their last respects to their defender Douglas Chirambo in a controversial way on Monday atKamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Chirambo was hospitalized at Thyolo District Hospital in the outskirts of Blantyre after being diagonised with a brain tumour.
He reportedly died while being taken to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital for further treatment. He had been bed-ridden since last December, hence unable to participate in the Bullets’ 2015 CAF Champions League campaign.
The whole programme started peacefully at Thyolo mortuary, where thousands of football supporters led by Principle Secretary in the ministry of sports Justin Saidi paid their last respect to the footballer before the body was driven to Blantyre at Kamuzu Stadium.
There were somber faces along the Thyolo-Blantyre road with supporters lining along the road waving good-bye to their player who has served the team for a period of eight years.
At Kamuzu Stadium thousands of fans, Super League of Malawi treasure Tiya Somba Banda, Flora Mwandira from FAM, Mighty Be-Forward Wanderrss players and some Big Bullets players paid their last respects.
Bullets top fan Mabvuto Chibambo gave an emotional eulogy as he criticized sports administrators in the country for what he described as untimely death of Chirambo.
“Douglous Chirambo died because of negligence on the part of administrators,” said Bullets tops fan.
“He did not deserve to die so early. He could have been faced with proper treatment. Shame our football administrators, shame indeed,” he said.
Chibambo said the player lacked support when he was sick at Thyolo District Hospital.
“All what Douglas needed was K2.5 million to go for an operation. What kind of sports administrators do we have in this country? It is high time that we start treating our footballers well rather than using them as tools,” said Chibambo, amid ululation from thousands of fans.
Chibambo also urged government to establish a policy which can make players to work in a comfortable environment.
A moment of sadness came when it was time for Big Bullets captain Fischer Kondowe to pay his tribute.
Free- talking Kondowe also condemned football officials for manipulating players for their self- enrichment.
“Why do you use us as if we are hoes. Our friend Douglas could not have been dead if you supported him financially. He needed only a little money for his operation yet nobody cared about him,” said the Bullets skipper.
Emotional and sorrowful Kondowe did not even finish making his eulogy as he broke down in uncontrollable tears.
Tiya Somba Banda said Sulom will make sure from this season they will make sure that teams put their players on medical scheme.
There was drama when it was announced that there was only a 26-seater bus to take the remains of Chirambo to Lilongwe.
Supporters reacted angrily and started chanting, “Bus ibwere sitilola, Bus ibwere sitilola.”
Some supporters threatened to burry Chirambo’s remains at Kamuzu Stadium if a big bus was not provided.
It took two hours before calm was restored after Blantyre United owner Lawson Nakoma provided his bus for Bullets players.
The body was then taken to College of Medicine for another embalming process after noticing that it was not handled well at Thyolo Hospital.
Meanwhile, former Bullets coach Kinnah Phiri, who now manages Free State Stars, sent his condolences to the deceased’s family and the entire Bullets.
“He was a very good player. I coached him and he was hard working. That is how I will remember him. Condolences,” Kinnah told SuperSport.com.
Burial is scheduled for Tuesday in the northern region district of Rumphi. He was 25 and earned some nine caps.–© nyasatimes.comFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :