An AFM pastor, his wife, their two-year-old daughter and a female member of the church died on the spot while four other people were seriously injured when a vehicle they were travelling in veered off the road and overturned along the Hwange-Victoria Falls Road early yesterday morning.
The accident happened about 40km outside Victoria Falls at around 1AM when Pastor Noel Chiruva, who was driving, allegedly failed to negotiate a curve.
The vehicle — a Toyota Granvia — rolled once, crushing and instantly killing the four people seated in the front seats.
Pastor Chiruva, his wife Vongai, daughter Ruvarashe and a congregant identified as Mrs Margaret Nyakumbi, were on their way to the church’s Women International Conference in Masvingo when the accident occurred.
Mrs Nyakumbi was a renowned businesswoman in Victoria Falls operating a number of shops.
The injured church members, who have not been identified, were yesterday transferred from Victoria Falls District Hospital to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.
AFM Matabeleland North overseer Pastor Isaac Kodzwa said the death of Pastor Chiruva had robbed the church of an important figure.
“We’re still shocked as a church because we lost one of our gallant soldiers. They were going to a national Women’s Conference in Masvingo when the accident occurred,” said Pastor Kodzwa who visited the scene of the accident from Hwange yesterday morning.
A church elder Mr Ozias Marange said the injured were rescued by passersby.
“We were shocked by this terrible accident. We rushed there at 2AM and the injured had already been carried to hospital by motorists while bodies were still trapped in the car which was in the middle of the road,” he said.
Mrs Nyakumbi’s husband, Chris, looked shaken when a Chronicle news crew visited his house in Victoria Falls yesterday morning.
A member of the church, Mr Isaiah Maisiri, who spoke on his behalf, said Mrs Nyakumbi left around midnight with other church members on their way to the conference in Masvingo.
Police could not readily confirm the accident.