Thirty-five Zimbabwean Christians were killed while over 70 others were injured in an accident while travelling between Chimanimani and Chipinge districts in Southeastern Zimbabwe on the night of April 14.
The victims, who were members of Zion Christian Church (ZCC), were reportedly going to their Mbungo shrine at the church’s headquarters in Bikita for Easter gathering, when the accident occurred.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) confirmed the incident in a statement.
“The ZRP confirms a fatal road traffic accident which occurred at the 5km peg along Jopa-Skyline Rd, Chimanimani last night at around 2200 hours where Charles Luwanga bus which had 106 ZCC church members went out of the road and fell into a gorge,” the police said in a Twitter post.
“As a result of the accident, 35 people died while 71 others were injured. The bodies of the victims were taken to Chipinge Hospital for post-mortem while the injured were referred to the same institution for treatment, with 13 being critically injured.”
The police said 29 passengers died on the spot while six others died on admission.
It however said it suspected that the accident was caused by brake failure and that the bus was overloaded.
The bus was supposed to carry 65 to 70 passengers instead it carried 106 passengers on the day of the incident.
ZCC is one of the largest churches in Africa with about five million members.
It operates across Southern Africa with headquarters in Limpopo Province, South Africa.
The church was founded by Eugenas Lekganyane after a revelation which he said to have received from God on the top of Mt. Thabakgone, near Petersburg.