(Harare)A Pastor with the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa(ZAOGA) church suffered a medical breakdown and subsequently lost her life as a result of engaging too much fasting, some church members of ZAOGA have claimed.
Evangelist Hilda Bvunzawabaya who was the talk of the church worldwide, died because of constantly abstaining from nourishing her body through eating as she sought a higher spirituality, Church members claim.
“She died because of much fasting,” said one church member who declined being named.
In one video seen by ZimEye in 2007, the physically weak Evangelist upon arriving in London, required walking assistance while on stage as she stated that she had been without food for a number of days and was still fasting on the very day of preaching.
Moreover, every church member interviewed by ZimEye testified how that the pastor always talked about fasting in almost all her messages. One pastor who once housed the Evangelist told ZimEye how Mrs Bvunzawabaya constantly referred to the exercise and in a sermon in his church, she preached specifically about the importance of fasting.
“She used to engage in absolute fasting …for days” said the pastor who again declined being named and stated that he remembers a time when he himself used to fast to the point of rejecting his own saliva while in the act of trying to impress God.
But information coming out of their head office in Harare merely stated that she died ‘of long illness’ and appeared to contradict what the church members allege.
“…she died after long illness,” said one pastor with the church.
It however also became apparent that a search for Evangelist Bvunzawabaya’s name on the church’s website showed she was not on the web server’s database, despite being a prominent icon of the church.
Many church members admired Evangelist Bvunzawabaya and regarded her as a mother and a hero. Said one church friend named only as Linda Munjoma on the 25th November: “Mama. I cant believe kuti when I saw her last week it was a goodbye. Ranga riri gamba iri[She was a hero]. Vapedza pavo zvasarire isu[She has finished her bit and left us to finish the rest]. May her soul rest in internal peace.”
Another church member stated: “she’ll be greatly missed….R.I.P great woman of God!”
While a statement from the ZAOGA church is awaited, pastors of other churches have warned Christians to be careful of engaging in excessive acts of piety which are mere acts of impressing God and will result in self righteousness.