Thursday, 16 October 2014

TB Joshua Disgrace - MDC Chair's Body Stuck in Nigeria

As if the loss of a loved one was not enough grief for the late Mashonaland West MDC-T chairman, Greenwich Ndanga's relatives, it has emerged the family's worries do not just end there.

Since the mishap, the Ndanga family has been living with the anguish of not knowing if it will eventually bury the correct family member.

Ndanga, a businessman, died over a month ago when a six story hostel belonging to popular Nigerian televangelist TB Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) collapsed, killing 115 visitors.

Two other Zimbabweans were reported dead in the accident, which claimed 84 South Africans.

Since the disaster, Nigerian authorities are still battling to identify decomposing victims through DNA tests; but it has emerged this was a tougher task for the poorly resourced West Africans.

It is difficult to get fingerprints from decomposing corpses. Reports from South Africa claimed that most of the bodies were being kept in mortuaries kept cool only by fans, with no refrigeration.

MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa told NewZimbabwe.com at the weekend that the late Ndanga's body was still in Nigeria.

"The body is still in Nigeria. They are still carrying out DNA tests. The issue is getting complicated by the day," Chamisa said.
TB Joshua Disgrace - MDC Chair's Body Stuck in Nigeria
"The official position is that we are in liaison with the family on the arrangement to give a decent and respectable send off to our comrade.

"We are made to understand that there are diplomatic, bureaucratic and logistical complications that have delayed the process of having the body repatriated to Zimbabwe."

There were however conflicting reports over the current location of Ndanga's body with some MDC-T official saying the late politician's body was now In South Africa.

"We hear the body is now in South Africa. His wife, as we speak, is in South Africa," said a party official who cannot be named for professional reasons.

Ndanga, also a pastor, was said to be a permanent South African resident who had travelled to Nigerian on church business.

The process of transferring his body to Zimbabwe was said to be tough as relatives need to go through the often cumbersome formalities of doing so.

Meanwhile, it was reported weekend TB Joshua has sent teams to hand over gifts to the families of the 84 deceased South Africans. The gifts included money, anointed water and maize meal.

Civil suits are reportedly hanging over the charismatic prophet's head after the hostel accident was linked to poor construction of the guest house.

Some of the monetary gifts, derided as a pittance by relatives of the deceased, were said to be as little as ZAR5,000 (US$450).

The South African government last week pleaded with angry and frustrated families to be patient and urged them to postpone funerals to save costs.

"Government understands the toll this long period of waiting is taking on the affected families," a task team dealing with the tragedy said in a statement.

"We urge families to continue to bear with us. The validation and confirmation process are vital to ensure that families receive the correct remains.

"To minimise financial strain, we urge families to put funeral arrangements on hold until we receive confirmation from the Nigerian authorities on when the repatriation is going to happen."

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