THE remains of two Bulawayo worshippers that perished in the collapse of a guest house at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) on September 12 are set to be repatriated for burial in the city this week.
Jane Sibanda (nee Hwature) of Entumbane and Sisasenkosi Ngwenya of Mpopoma as well as MDC-T Mashonaland West chairperson Greenwich Ndanga were among 116 people that died when the guest house of the church headed by renowned Nigerian self-styled prophet Temitope Balogun “TB” Joshua collapsed.
Of the 116 that died, 81 were South Africans.
The three Zimbabweans’ bodies were among the 74 remains that were returned to South Africa on Sunday after a two-month wait due to the painstakingly slow DNA identification by the Nigerian authorities.
Sibanda’s relatives started gathering for her funeral wake in Entumbane on Sunday after confirmation that her remains were among the 74 repatriated to South Africa from Lagos on the same day following the intervention of the neighbouring country’s government.
According to a neighbour Stella Ncube, who is responsible for collections towards Sibanda’s burial, the deceased’s remains are expected in Bulawayo this week.
“Sibanda’s father told me that the body will be repatriated this week,” said Ncube. “His son based in South Africa phoned confirming that the body had arrived in that country. The father said he will tell me once the body arrives in Bulawayo so that I can inform other residents.”
Ncube said Sibanda’s father informed her that his daughter’s remains would be taken straight to the cemetery from a local funeral parlour that will receive the body from South Africa.
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said Sibanda’s body was expected to leave South Africa yesterday and arrive in Bulawayo this morning, with the burial set for later today.
In Mpopoma, Collin Sithole, Ngwenya’s neighbour, said a relative had travelled to South Africa to arrange the repatriation process of the body.
“Her nephew, Lawrence, left for South Africa today (yesterday) to arrange for the body to be returned home for burial,” said Sithole.