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Bus crash leaves Chimanimani in deep mourning

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From Pamenus Tuso in Chimanimani


UNDER normal circumstances, Chimanimani is a serene environ punctuated by pristine forests and high mountains and interlocking spurs that create a picturesque panorama.

The topography is extremely rugged, with ranges of jagged peaks and deep ravines studded with wild birds that found a heaven in this most natural of habitats.

It makes perfect holiday view whose verdant life, fauna and flora, can be soothing to the spirit.

Except that these are not normal times.

Rather, a sombre atmosphere Sunday engulfed the community in the area after the angel of death revisited with all its force, exactly three years after the horrors of Cyclone Idai which left at hundreds dead, and many more injured.

Families here are mourning once more after a bus failed to negotiate one of the hairpin curves that snake along the edges of the mountains and plunged deep into the valley below.

Twenty-two people died on the spot while several others were seriously injured after a St Charles Lwanga bus carrying members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) to a church service to Masvingo was involved in an accident near Jopa market in Chipinge Friday night.

The death toll has since increased to 37.

In the Biriri area, where two victims of the Chipinge bus disaster were laid to rest in Nyamutsitsi and Makari villages, people are failing to come to terms with the reality of the situation.

Pamela Chikohomero was buried at Nyamutsitsi village while Loveness  Magidigidi was also buried at Makari village.

The deceased bodies are part of first batch of the eight bodies which were dispatched to their respective relatives on Saturday by a local funeral parlour, Nyaradzo Funeral Services.

Nyaradzo is taking care of 21 burials while Doves Morgan is taking care of remainder.

Several people, including members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) braved the heavy rains and attended, Chikohomero’s burial.

One of the church members described the late Chikohomero as a good fearing and loving young mother.

“Pamela was a jovial person who was free to everyone in the church. She still had young children to raise and we hope that her remaining spouse will manage to cope up with the pressure of losing a pillar of his life,” said Mavis Chirongwe, the deceased’s workmate.

Chikohomero leaves behind a husband and two children.