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A ROMAN Catholic priest based at Gweru Diocese Cathedral Church committed suicide on Saturday morning by taking poison after he allegedly stole a parish vehicle and went for a beer drink after which he was involved in an accident in which a passenger he was carrying sustained serious injuries. Father Batsirai Marimbe’s body was found at Mutapa Cemetery in Gweru at around 6am.

It is alleged that on Friday night, Father Marimbe took a parish vehicle which had just returned from routine car servicing and went for a beer drink at Eclipse Nightclub in the company of his friends.

According to eyewitnesses, Father Marimbe was involved in an accident in the wee hours of Saturday in which one passenger was injured.

The witnesses alleged that he abandoned the vehicle and rushed home.

He then went to Mutapa Cemetery in Gweru where he took the poison.

Following his death rumours started circulating on social media that he had been suspended by Gweru diocese Bishop Xavier Munyongani for allegedly assaulting a priest-in-charge at Hama Mission, Father Caesar Muchingami, following a misunderstanding.

It is alleged that he was transferred to Gweru pending a discplinary hearing.

Bishop Munyongani confirmed the incident during a church service at the cathedral but denied suspending Father Marimbe over his alleged misconduct.

Addressing parishioners, the visibly distraught Bishop Munyongani said Father Marimbe had committed suicide for reasons best known to him and not because of the suspension.

Some of the parishioners who declined to be named alleged that Father Marimbe was in the process of getting a driver’s licence.

Officer Commanding Midlands Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Shadreck Mubaiwa could neither confirm nor deny the incident.

“I haven’t received any report regarding that matter. I will have to make a follow-up and furnish you with details,” he said.

Source : The Herald