ABOUT 24 Bulawayo residents who were in Nigeria when a guest house belonging to prominent preacher Temitope Balogun a�?TBa�? Joshua collapsed on 12 September have returned home, with one death reported.
The person reported dead was Catherine Ndlovu, a mother of two from Mpopoma. Indications are that more than 100 people died, the majority of them South Africans, when the Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) guest house in Lagos collapsed. There had been reports that MDC-T provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West, Greenwich Ndanga, was among the dead. However, he was not part of the group that travelled from Bulawayo.
One of the pilgrims who said he had travelled with eight other family members said they were lucky to be alive as the collapsed guest house usually housed Zimbabweans visiting Scoan. The man who did not want to be named, but is related to a prominent Bulawayo businessman, said they arrived a day before the tragedy.
a�?We were told that Zimbabweans were usually housed at that guest house, but they decided to shift them on the day we arrived. Had we arrived a day earlier we would have been among the victims. My brother (the businessman) and the other family members we had travelled with witnessed the building collapse as they were moving towards the structure at the time.a�?
He said pictures they took of the incident showed an airplane hovering around the building, repeating TB Joshuaa��s claims that it was sabotaged. The man, who said he was healed of various ailments that included back pain and diabetes, said they remained at Scoan until Thursday last week when they returned home.
a�?We were calm despite the unfolding events around us because we knew the man of God had things under control,a�? he said.
a�?We remained at Scoan because we had not received our deliverance. The building collapse was the work of Boko Haram (a Nigerian Islamic terrorist group).a�?
In Bulawayo there is a network of locals who organise trips to TB Joshuaa��s services. Prominent Zimbabweans have travelled to Scoan including government ministers, parliamentarians, senators and business executives. a�� BYO24