By Tendai Gukutikwa
The United Methodist Church was plunged into mourning ahead of its eastern annual conference at Old Mutare tomorrow after the death of one the convention organisers and his wife in a horror accident in Headlands on Wednesday evening.
The accident, which occurred at the 140km peg in Headlands along the Mutare-Harare Highway, claimed the life of Reverend Duncan Charwadza and his wife Janet Charwadza (52), Edwin Kudzaishe (26) and their driver Joice Mushamiri (26).
The victims were travelling in an Isuzu KB 205 which veered off the road after side-swiping a haulage truck.
The deceased couple was travelling to Mutare, where Rev Charwadza is instrumental in organising the eastern conference which starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday.
The conference bid farewell to the church’s long serving leader, Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa.
Rev Charwadza and wife were part of the church cabinet members who had just returned from a foreign trip with the outgoing Bishop Nhiwatiwa on Wednesday morning.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the accident saying all four died on the spot.
Their bodies were later taken to Rusape General Hospital mortuary.
He said the haulage truck driver escaped unscathed.
“The driver of the Isuzu truck encroached into the opposite lane in a bid to overtake a haulage truck and sideswiped the haulage truck in the process.
Upon realising that there was an oncoming vehicle, the driver then attempted to move back to the correct lane, and behind the haulage truck, but failed and veered off the road resulting in the vehicle overturning, killing all the four occupants on the spot,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He advised motorists to be more careful on the roads.
“Police are deeply concerned with the loss of innocent lives in road accidents due to human error.
“We urge motorists to avoid overtaking in situations which endanger the lives of passengers and other motorists. Drivers should be exemplary while on the road,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
UMC administrative assistant to the bishop, Rev Alan Masimba Gurupira, also confirmed the deaths
“As you have been told by the police, it happened and I cannot say anything more than the police,” he said.
Mourners are gathered at 3 Dawson Avenue, Yeovil, Mutare. Manica Post