Former Kwekwe Executive Mayor Johnson Mawere’s daughter was among the 11 people who died during a stampede at a Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries crusade on Thursday night.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Juliet (55) who is survived by four children — a member of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe — had gone to the PHD Ministries service to witness the miracles, according to family members.
Brother to the deceased, Mandireva Matambanadzo said the family was still to come to terms with the death of their relative.
“I am pained by my sister’s death and I have never seen anything like this in Kwekwe. We accept the death of our sister, but we do not understand the circumstances surrounding her death because there are reports of people who said police closed gates,” Matambanadzo said.
The former Mayor was too shaken to speak to the press and could not hold back his tears when Kwekwe City councillors led by Mayor Matenda Madzoke and Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya visited his home to pay their condolences.
In another street, a somber atmosphere engulfed the Chivasa family as they struggled to come to terms with the death of their son, Tamuka Chivasa (11) who had gone to the crusade with his peers.
His aunt Felisters Matizanadzo said it was painful to come to terms with the fact that Tamuka had died while at a church service.
“We are still in shock and pained that he is no more, especially given the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. Honestly dying at a church service is not something that one really anticipates, but death is God’s law and we accept it,” she said.
John Moyo, who lost his wife Cynthia Katsholo (46), had no kind words for the police, blaming them for the misfortune which struck his family.
“Police wanted to head count people; hence it created commotion as the crowd was too big. The police should not have closed the gates because people were too many,” a visibly shaken Moyo said.
“They trampled my wife at the gate and she is said to have died on the scene. When people started talking about the tragedy that’s when I found out that my wife had passed on,” said Moyo.
Sydney Munezvi, uncle to Rachel Zvinei (16) — a Form Two student who died during the stampede — was distraught over the death saying it was too much for him to handle.
Munezvi said Zvinei had gone to the crusade to seek healing for her mother who is currently lying in a coma at Kwekwe General Hospital.
“We don’t even know how to tell her mother that she is no more and this hurts, especially given the fact that her mother had also lost a baby during birth earlier that day.”
Winnimore Chikada of Gweru who was a Grade Six pupil also died in the stampede.