former Una Una players mourn Tanda Tavaruva.
By Drone Eye View Reporter
He was not just a successful business mogul, but a football enthusiast
and administrator par excellence, whose heart had a special place for
the world’s most beautiful game.
Many people across the country will remember the transport business
magnet’s gargantuan fleet of buses under the Mhunga Bus services brand
that plied almost every major route across the length and breadth of
the nation and the region. Mudhara Mhunga, as he was affectionately
known as, breathed his last at his home in the splashy suburbs of
Rhodene in Masvingo city, on May 11, 2020.
In 1997, the Tanda Tavaruva, bankrolled, Masvingo United Football
Club (fc), announced their arrival in the country’s domestic football
landscape of Eastern region division 1 and three years later it would
become the first team in Masvingo province to gain promotion into the
national elite Premier league.
The team would soon become an instant hit in the Premiership league,
dazzling football lovers with joyous and glorious moments at Mucheke
stadium their favorite hunting ground for close to a decade of mixed
Tavaruva, who bid farewell to active football in 2008, is arguably one
of the few individuals who bankrolled a Premier Soccer League (PSL)
team from their own pockets, single handedly.
Between 1997 and 2008, the veteran administrator and sponsor, was
at the helm of Una Una , as Masvingo United is affectionately known
as, channeling personal funds for football Development in the ancient
city, the whole province and nation at large.
By so doing, Tavarura, employed scores of professional soccer players
who earned a living through the sporting genre to fend for their
In remembering the veteran administrator and employer, former Una Una
charismatic midfielder, Billiard Bomber Muchenje, who had a successful
stint with the team, told Drone Eye View about Tavaruva’s love for
football and how he invested heavily during the team’s glory days.
“I still remember him not missing a single training session. He would
visit the team while in camp especially Sunday soon after attending
church and he would gather the whole team and rhetorically ask us how
much he should budget for the game which we were camping for. That
alone would raise moral in camp because we all wanted to win and be
paid handsomely,” said Muchenje.
Former Asipo Haapo, ( another moniker for the team,), hard running
and dribbling wizard, Joe Machira chete Kwangware also recalled one
of his splendid days with the late Tavaruva, who he described as a
man who loved football whole heartedly and motivated players always.
“He used to come in the bus before we journeyed for our away matches
and he would jokingly tell us not to return if we lose. He motivated
us financially and also by word of mouth. We are at a huge loss,” said
Retired goal minder, Simbarashe Irke Molife, recollected his priceless
moments with the late when he put pen to paper for the Masvingo
“His Masvingo United was the first premier league team I signed for
and will forever remember that. Seated in the office with Mr Tavaruva
and John his cashier, signing those papers and getting my signing on
fees was something else. Rest in peace Mr Tavaruva,” said the shot
stopper in his condolence message.
The late had a business empire which employed thousands of locals and
at some instances he would formally employ football players at his Bus
service company in an effort to make the players realise extra income
apart from that which they got at the club.
The Tanda Tavaruva fronted Masvingo United FC will be remembered in
the history of football in the country for producing household names
like, Ovidy Karuru now plying his trade in South Africa,
Czechoslovakia based, Costa Nhamoinesu, Douglas Zimbango in the UK,
Poland based , Progress Musepa, Musareka Jenitala, George Magariro,
Ferdinand Machindalo, Raymond Undi, Hardlife Mavhundi among others.