With the names of the 11 victims that perished during the stampede at the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD), many people have expressed shock at the loss of live at a church.
Among those who perished is Juliet Mawere who was 55 and it was her first time at Walter Magaya’s church. Others include Tendai Bafana (9), Winnie Chikanda (12), Ian Nkomo (40), Tamuka Chivasa (11), Rachel Zvinei (16), Cynthia Jane Katsholo (47) all from Mbizo suburb. Albert Ndure (13) and Bridget Mukarati (34) from Gweru and Shadreck Gumisidza Kurebwa, (59) and Grace Gwinji from Redcliff also died at the PHD service.
The police who were initially accused of using teargas at the overcrowded venue have denied the allegations insisting that a gas stove that was used by a businessman providing food at the church meeting burst.
Some families have urged the authorities to investigate the cause of the tragic loss of life.Speaking to RealZim, Munyaradzi Mavedzenge said that the church had erred in using a venue that was too small and confined. “Magaya knows that a lot of people come to his healing services in search of miracles and to have other social problems addressed. He should have used an open venue. Over 30 000 people in a venue that holds about 7 000 is very wrong,” he said
Mabel Makandidii who lost a friend said she was shocked by the death. “Imagine people going to church for deliverance, healing and salvation they come back in boxes. We only pray that their souls rest in peace,” she said
John Hove said the matter should be investigated to ensure that this tragic accident does not happen again.
PHD gave the eleven families that lost their relatives a thousand dollars each.