PHD stampede inquest postponed

THE inquest into the stampede which left 11 people dead at a Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries all-night prayer meeting at Mbizo Stadium in Kwekwe last year failed to resume yesterday after prosecutor Salome Maunganidze fell sick.

BLESSED MHLANGA

PHD ministries leader Walter Magaya

PHD ministries leader Walter Magaya

The matter, which opened on January 28 with police and council blaming PHD Ministries for the stampede, was due to continue yesterday with other police officers due to give evidence before resident magistrate Taurai Manwere.

However, area prosecutor Maunganidze asked the court to postpone the matter to February 24 saying she was unable to continue as she was not feeling well.

“Your Worship, I have consulted with my learned colleague and we have agreed to postpone the matter to February 24 because I am not feeling well,” she said.

PHD Ministries leader Walter Magaya was expected to appear before the court yesterday to give evidence in the inquest into one of the worst disasters to strike the second largest city in the Midlands.

Church lawyer Everson Chatambudza, who had travelled from Harare together with other church members, confirmed that they had agreed to have the matter postponed.

The two witnesses who have so far testified at the inquest — Kwekwe City Council director of housing Newton Dete and Police Inspector Philip Nyateka —both said PHD Ministries failed to act in a reasonable manner and their actions could have caused the stampede.

“In my view, PHD Ministries hired a venue which has exit points that could not manage to contain the people who attended the prayer meeting and as a result of this poor planning, 11 people died,” Nyateka said.

Tamuka Chivasa (11), Ian Nkomo (40), Tendekai Bafana (9), Juliet Mawere (55), Rachel Zvinei (16), Shadreck Kurebwa (59), Bridget Mukaraji (24), Albert Ndure (13), Cynthia Jane Kotsholo (47), Grace Gwinji (47) and Winmore Chikanda (12) lost their lives during the stampede.

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