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Pastor drowns while baptising congregants

A pastor at a local apostolic sect church drowned at Lumene Falls in Umzingwane District while baptising congregants.

The incident occurred on 1 April at around 8 AM, the Chronicle reported citing Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Loveness Mangena. She said the body of Amukela Ncube (48) from Nkayi is still trapped in the river. She said:

“I can confirm that we recorded a sudden death case of drowning. Amukela Ncube who is a pastor of an apostolic sect church went to Lumene Falls with congregants to conduct a baptism service. Ncube stepped into the river to check the depth of the water where he wanted to baptise the congregants and drowned.

Insp Mangena said a sub-aqua team tried to retrieve Ncube’s body yesterday but failed as he is stuck in between rocks and there is a lot of pressure from the water. She said the rescue mission was still ongoing. Insp Mangena urged members of the public to desist from entering undesignated water bodies without protective clothing. She also urged people to seek the services of guides.

Umzingwane District Development Coordinator, Mr Peter Mahlathini who is also the District Civil Protection Committee Chairperson said he will visit the incident scene for an assignment. He said if the sub-aqua team fails to retrieve the body they will engage mining companies to assist in the rescue mission.

Ncube is not the only pastor who has drowned while baptising people. The problem of drowning is common among apostolic sects that use rivers for baptism purposes.

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