Prominent Roman Catholic Bishop Munyanyi dies aged 66

By James Muonwa

The Roman Catholic Church was plunged into mourning following the death of prominent Bishop Emeritus Martin Munyanyi on Sunday morning.

He was 66 years old.

The towering cleric of Gweru Diocese collapsed and died at his home in Shurugwi in circumstances that are still unclear.

The Vicar General of Gweru Diocese, Reverend Father Simon Mavhiya has confirmed Munyanyi’s death.

“To all priests, religious brothers and sisters and all lay faithful, dear brothers, my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, it is with a heavy heart to announce the sudden passing of Bishop Emeritus Martin Munyanyi of the Diocese of Gweru, who collapsed and died at his home in Shurugwi,” Reverend Mavhiya said.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed in May 2006 Munyanyi the new bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Gweru.

He succeeded the late Bishop Francis Xavier Mugadzi as Bishop of the over 196,000 Catholics in Gweru Diocese.

Munyanyi was born on January 3, 1956, in the district of Bikita, province of Masvingo then in the diocese of Gweru.

He attended Beardmore Mine Elementary School and Silveira Mission School before traveling to Chishawasha to study for the priesthood and was later ordained a priest on September 3, 1983.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

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