It was devastating and traumatising for the 23-year-old woman who was brought into the Balaka District Hospital mortuary to identify the body of a man believed to be her husband.
The tears rolling down her cheeks onto a one-month-old baby she carried in her arms confirmed that she was only fulfilling a request; otherwise, she had already been told the painful truth that her husband was no more.
It was at exactly 8.23pm when the wife [Grace Josita] and some relatives arrived at the hospital to confirm that Lemiyasi Josita, 31, a Mighty Wanderers fan had died in ugly scenes that engulfed Balaka Stadium during the TNM Super League match between his team and Silver Strikers.
That football had robbed of the life of her beloved husband, the family’s breadwinner, on this fateful afternoon, Saturday, December 28 2013, will remain a dark day to Grace and their three children.
Grace could not believe that her husband, a businessperson was to return home in a coffin. She said the deceased had promised to be home before 6pm that day.
“I made sure that his supper was ready by 6pm, only moments later to be asked to come here to identify his body in the mortuary. Why God, Oh! Why?” Grace wept.
Grace failed to hold herself as she was being consoled by Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda. She broke into uncontrollable wailing for her husband.
In her crying, it was clear that life would be difficult without him and the child she said they had not named yet.
By 9pm, emergency room at the hospital was fukll of people coming to ascertain that their loved ones had survived the ugly scenes.
Among six injured people admitted to the hospital following the football fracas were a 13-year-old Junior Rashid and another youngster who could not be identified.