By Charles Banda:
Tributes are pouring in for the departed former Malawi National Netball Team coach Griffin Zagaro Saenda.
On Thursday morning, the netball fraternity woke up to news that Zagaro who is regarded as the father of Malawi’s netball because of his immense contribution towards growth of the game in the country is no more after a long battle with diabetes.
According to information sourced from close family members Saenda was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital on Thursday last week after developing stroke and has been in hospital since then.
“Yes I can confirm Zagaro is no more but for now I can not give more details as regards to funeral arrangements as the family is yet to meet,” said a family member.
Reacting to Zagaro’s death, Paul Kamanga a former sports presenter with state owned MBC, described Saenda’s death as a great loss to the netball fraternity.
“Netball has lost a great son and surely the game will miss him,” writer Kamanga on one of the WhatsApp sports forums.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) Vice General Secretary Brian Gausi said the sports fraternity in general has lost a great icon.
“We can’t talk about Netball in Malawi without mentioning the netball of Griffin Saenda. Most of the Netball coaches you are seeing in Malawi today are Saenda’s products”, Gausi told Private owned ZBS radio.
Saenda has on several occasions led the Malawi Queens to the World Netball series guiding the team to top five finish.
Further to that Saenda will also be remembered for the role he played in contributing to club netball.
During his tenure as Diamond Sisters coach he assembled a star studded squad that swept all domestic trophies.
Saenda a retired medical officer has died at the age of 68.
Until last year he was working as Regional sports development Officer for the Southern region.