About eleven people are reported to have died in a stampede in Zimbabwe after a church service by Prophet Magaya in a stadium as they fought to exit. Several others were injured in the same stampede which is reported to have happened in Kwe Kwe, a city which is about three hundred kilometres south of Harare.
Speaking to the media, the Provincial Police Spokesman, Shadreck Mubaiwa said, the stampede occurred after the service ended and the worshippers all rushed for the only exit that was available to them. He added that four people were killed on the site when they fell and were trampled upon by fellow worshippers. Seven others, he added, were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Another source who is a member of the church and spoke to the media on condition that his identity was not revealed said that the stampede occurred because people who were in charge, particularly the security people did not use common sense to deal with the problem. Church authorities were, however, not available to respond to questions sent to them. However, the local, state controlled media reported that the church, through their spokeswoman, Catherine Nyangoni, had confirmed the deaths and that the church was working with the police in an attempt to establish the cause of the stampede.
Speaking on state television on Thursday night, the Church’s Walter Magaya said the incident had devastated him. He confirmed that his church had organised the event and that they should take the blame for the stampede. While conceding that the cause of the stampede had not been established, he argued that the fact that the incident had happened at all was a sign that their systems as a church had failed.
This incident comes hot on the heels of a similar event which happened in Nigeria where scores of people were killed when the building in which they were being housed collapsed and crushed them. The majority of those in Nigeria at the Synagogue Church of All Nations were South Africans and their bodies have only just been relocated to South Africa for burial.