Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
POPULAR Brethren in Christ Church pastor in Bulawayo, Reverend Reuben Mabhena has died.
He was 68.
Rev Mabhena passed on at Mpilo Central Hospital yesterday after battling cancer for a long time.
The revered pastor presided over a memorial service for one of the first Zipra combatants in the liberation war, Cde Sikhwili Moyo. The service was attended by former President Robert Mugabe and one of his deputies at the time the late Cde John Nkomo. It is on the day, speaking at the service, the ex-President opened up on the early 1980s political disturbances in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces, describing the period as a moment of madness.
A family spokesperson, Mr Timon Mabhena confirmed Rev Mabhena’s death.
“He passed on at Mpilo Hospital today (yesterday) where he had been battling cancer. He had been admitted for close to three months,” said Mr Mabhena.
He said there would be a service at the church every day at 6PM until Sunday when Rev Mabhena would be buried.
“Other funeral arrangements would be announced in due course,” said Mr Mabhena.
He described Rev Mabhena, who was a pastor for the greater part of his life, as a man of the people.
“He was very likeable by all his parishioners, he had a big heart, very welcoming and worked well with a number of politicians. We are really saddened by his loss,” said Mr Mabhena.
Rev Mabhena had been pastor at the Bulawayo Central branch since the 1980s.
In 2013, he suffered a stroke while delivering a sermon but recovered and continued with his work.
Parishioners at the church said Rev Mabhena stepped down as the branch’s main pastor last year due to old age and played the role of mentor and father figure to younger pastors.
Rev Mabhena is survived by a wife.
Mourners are gathered at Brethren in Christ Church Central branch in Bulawayo. — @AuxiliaK.