Memorial for Zimbabwe’s Anglican Wabvuwi Guild accident victims

By Wallace Mawire

The Anglican Wabvuwi Guild will this Saturday officially open  its memorial clinic, which was built at St Claire’s Mangwende in Murewa following the death of five members of the church in a road accident near the mission’s turn off.

According to Precious Shumba, Chairperson of the Information and Publicity Committee of the guild, the official opening ceremony will take place on Saturday 28 October 2017 from 9 am at the St Claire’s Mission and the church leadership and government officials will be present to officiate at the event.
Lawrence  Mudariki, the Secretary of  the Wabvuwi, Harare Diocese said it all started on  9 November 1997 where a 12 member
delegation led by the late Wabvuwi Chairman Charles Chekerwa drove off from Harare to Mutoko (Mutemwa Leprosy Centre).
On the way to Mutoko and at St Clare’s turn off, there was a member of Wabvuwi Guild who was very sick, and they promised to see him on their way back to Harare.
When Wabvuwi reached Mutoko Leprosy Centre, all the patients came and listened to Wabvuwi music and sermons comforting them. Wabvuwi donated clothes, cash and groceries to the centre.
At about 12:00 mid-day Wabvuwi left Mutemwa Leprosy Centre for Harare and it was music after music all the way from Mutemwa. When Wabvuwi reached St Clares turn off where they had promised to pass through and see the sick member, they
realised that they had missed the place by a few meters and made a u-turn and faced the direction of Mutoko again.

As they slowed down to turn right a big lorry suddenly crushed into Wabvuwi’s truck from the back, four members of the Wabvuwi’s died on the spot, and these were Charles Chekerwa, Thomas Dzikiti, Alfrege Muramba and Samuel Mudiwa.
The fifth member was Lazurus Pasipanodya who died on admission to Murehwa Hospital. The disaster survivors were taken to Murehwa Hospital for treatment,  these were Adam Matingo, Teddy Mukariri, Oliver Njambi, Edwin Muzarurwi, Switchen Macherechedze Francis Chimuti and Happymore Bisenti.

“The joy they had carried from Harare to Mutoko was completely taken away by the disaster,’ the diocese said.

In 1998 the first memorial service was held at St Michaels Mbare. The Rt Rev Jonathan Siyachitema led the service where he emphasised on the need to evangelize Zimbabwe. The nnveiling of  the tombstones and second memorial service was held at St
Clare’s Church in Murehwa, led by Bishop Siyachitema. The Bishop was shown the place of the accident where a Cross has been erected.
The third memorial service for the late members of Wabvuwi was held in 2000 at St Clares Murehwa and it was led by Rt RT Rev Bishop Hatendi and after the service the bishop was shown the place where the clinic is to be built. Bishop Hatendi blessed the land. It was at this gathering that a decision was made to gather annually at St Clares Church every year at the end of August.
The fourth memorial service was held in 2001. The service was led by Rev Mabhoyi and the widows of the late members were given food hampers and it was agreed to give these widows something every year. From the fifth commemoration in 2002 up until 2008, memorial services were led by the excommunicated bishop of Harare Dr Nolbert Kunonga or his representatives.
The 12th memorial service was held in 2009 at St John’s Chikwaka and led by the Rt Rev Dr Chad Gandiya, this was after the Bishop had just arrived in Zimbabwe and travelled straight from Airport to St John’s Chikwaka to celebrate mass. The 13th memorial service was held in 2010 in Chivhu at Daramombe mission where the service was led by Rev Murombedzi who was Rector and Priest in Charge. The 14th and 15th i.e 2011 and 2012 memorial services were held at Mukurazhizha in Murehwa better known as pa 44 miles and again Bishop Chad led the services August 2013 marked the 16th memorial service which was held at St Clares Church in Murehwa and Bishop Chad led the service.