Senior reporter Robin Muchetu attended the burial of His Presence Ministries founder and leader, Apostle Charles Chiriseri in Bulawayo yesterday and the following is the speech by the deceased’s wife, Pastor Pertunia Chiriseri, who was travelling with her husband when the horror accident took place
I would like to thank my family for putting this together, the efforts, prayers and the love. I greatly appreciate everything. I thank all the churches and people that have been praying with my family during this difficult time.
When we left Harare on the fateful day it was indeed a beautiful afternoon, the journey was wonderful in that it was just the two of us and we even spoke about it that it was our time together as we usually travel with company.
He was a man of few words but on that day he was speaking all the way and I could not believe it. Each day I wake up I feel like I will talk to him and hold his hand but no, my friend is gone to be with the Lord and it is real.
I remember we spoke about how beautiful the sunset was, we spoke like two lovers who were in courtship, we admired the sun’s bright orange colour and as he drove I wanted to take a picture but the road was bumpy and he even asked if he could stop the car and take better pictures and I agreed. I took the picture of the sunset and it was beautiful. We talked about the beauty of creation and that people say there is no God yet there are beautiful things around us.
At that time it was just a conversation but little did I know that it was a prophetic word, a conversation about the sunset of my life. My love story was coming to an end, my sun was setting. We stopped over in Gweru where he bought groceries for the family in Bulawayo. When he came back from the shop I never imagined that this was the last time I was seeing my husband walking.
As we drove he spoke at length and with passion about what he was not impressed about in the family. He was a man of few words but he spoke a lot on that journey. He spoke about how he was impressed and excited with the new breed of leaders of the church.
At about 9.30pm two animals appeared on the road. I looked at him and I could see him deciding to run over the animals or swerve to avoid them. He tried to swerve to avoid them, they went to the left and the car veered of the road, he tried to bring it back onto the road.
I remember seeing myself upside down hitting the tar three times and five parts of my body were broken. We never even had time to talk, shout or scream but within a flash a lot happened. I don’t know how I was thrown out into the bush but I found people looking for me in the bushes. You are looking at a miracle; I could have died in there if no one had seen me.
I sustained multiple injuries and it took five hours before I received attention, and I was bleeding internally. The first people to arrive at the scene were the ones that found me, I could have easily been unseen and died alone in the bushes because no one knew how many people were in the car.
I didn’t have my seatbelt on while in the car. When I was being taken into the ambulance I could hear onlookers talking, sympathising with me saying “Ahh, she is still alive, shame, the other one has died”. That is how I knew that my husband was dead. I was too weak to cry, I had a punctured lung, broken ribs, broken knee, grazed body but my brain was alive, and I remember everything.
I fell onto thorns and I was begging my helpers to remove the thorns. One of the worst moments of my life is the part where the ambulance drove away leaving my husband trapped in the car. All I can say is God allowed it; my children have testified, we have seen a lot. If God wanted him alive he would be here today.
We had not been on medical aid for years from about 2002 and when I joined the Human Rights Commission there was a medical aid benefit, I don’t know how many times my husband asked me about progress with the medical aid.
The urgency in which we pushed to be covered was amazing and Wednesday morning before the Thursday I got a call that our application for a waiver had been accepted because the medical aid was supposed to be functional as from November, but they accepted to cover us sooner.
I am saying this so that you know that God is never late, life belongs to God. I stayed 33 good years of marriage although we were together for 34 years, the first year was rocky.
My husband married me a virgin and he was also a virgin! He was a wonderful husband, a great man. One day I will be with him, but I am broken inside, I am grieving. I will take one day at a time.
To the Chiriseri family thank you for the support, I will not disgrace you, I will remain a Chiriseri.