Fr Bandawe buried at Gokomere

SIMBARASHE MTEMBO

MIRROR REPORTER 

MASVINGO – The late Roman Catholic priest, Father Paul Bandawe (41) who died at Chiredzi General Hospital on Friday was buried at Gokomere Mission Cemetery at 1pm today. 

Hundreds of Catholics led by Masvingo Diocese head, Bishop Michael Bhasera converged to bid farewell to the man of the cloth who served several mission stations in and around Masvingo.

Fr Bandawe suffered high blood pressure and diabetes and was rushed to hospital on Thursday evening. 

Father Bandawe served as a priest for 10 years and in 2017 served as a member of the Seventh Presbyteral Council which advises the bishop on diocese governance matters. 

He was deployed to several missions and parishes including St Patrick’s Gokomere Mission, St Don Bosco Parish, St Mary’s Mutero Mission, Silveira Mission and Bondolfi Mission.

Father Alex Rutsvara who gave a moving sermon told mourners that death is not negotiable and urged congregants to work for life after this world.

“We should accept ourselves as we are and serve God in the best way possible. Death is unavoidable and we should go to church to save our souls from condemnation so that we can live forever.

“Father Bandawe was a humble man who came from a well-to-do background but he remained humble. He preached and many lives turned to God. He baptised many and what he did is what God required of him,” said Fr Rutsvara.

Fr Bandawe’s brother Tariro described him as an easy-going person who did not quarrel or fight.

Fr Bandawe was born in a family of five children on April 21, 1981 in Chiredzi. He was born to the late Elias Shangwa Bandawe and Monica Chapinduka.

He attended Chipiwa Primary and enrolled at Chikwingwizha Seminary for his O Level which he completed in 1999 and completed his A Level at Hama High School in Chirumhanzu in 2001. 

Fr Bandawe then attended Mazoe Pre-Major Seminary from 2003 -2004 and proceeded to St Augustine Seminary from 2004-2007 before proceeding to Chishawasha Regional Major Seminary for a diploma in Theology from 2008-2012. He also acquired a Diploma in Religious Studies at the University of Zimbabwe.

He was ordained into priesthood on September 15, 2012 at St Anthony’s Mission in Zaka and was first deployed to St Patrick’s Gokomere Mission for his pastoral year.

IN 2013, Fr Bandawe was an assistant priest at St Don Bosco parish before he served at St Mary’s Mutero Mission from 2014-2016. He briefly joined Bondolfi Mission from January to August 2016 and Silveira Mission from August 2016 to March 2017.

He was deployed to Gokomere Mission from March 2017 to December 2018 and then St Alex Ndanga Mission from December 2018 to 2019 when he then joined Ss Peter and Paul Bondolfi Mission until March 15, 2020.https://masvingomirror.com

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