IN yet another shocker to the Zimbabwean aviation community, Air Zimbabwe pilot captain Kevin Chituku died under mysterious circumstances while alone at his flat in Highlands, Harare this Sunday late afternoon.
His death came barely 48 hours after Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) lost two of its most experienced pilots and a technician in a helicopter crash in Arcturus on Friday afternoon.
Wing Commander Thomas Tinashe Manyowa, Flight Lieutenant Anita Mapiye and aircraft technician Flight Sergeant Tinodiwanashe Chikamhi perished on the spot when their Agusta Bell 412 helicopter crashed into an Arcturus house, also killing an 18-month-old toddler.
Kevin’s sister, Lydia Chituku-Neshangwe, who is also a Reverend with a Presbyterian church, comfirmed the death of her pilot brother.
“My brother, Kevin. You used to depart and still land back home. This time you’ve departed, never to come back. May your soul rest in peace. You will always be loved,” she said in a statement.
Although details surrounding his death remain sketchy, sources say nothing much was known as the deceased young pilot was alone.
“Only after the postmortem is conducted will the picture get clearer,” said a family member. “Otherwise we’re all in the dark despite being close family members with our dear departed.”
Captain Chituku’s death was also confirmed by the Reverend Dr Lungile Mpetsheni Rhadebe, who is the General Secretary of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA).
In a message to the church’s members, which the Zimbabwe Voice is in possession of, Dr Rhadebe consoled the Chituku family and called on members to join in praying for thr family.
“It is with a heavy heart and sadness to inform you that Rev Lydia Neshangwe has lost her brother Kevin Chituku. He was found dead in his house in Highlands, Harare, Zimbabwe this afternoon. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Further details of the will be communicated as they become available.
“Let us uphold the Neshangwe and Chituku families in our prayers during this difficult time. Rev Lydia Neshangwe is a minister to St Andrew’s Presbyterian, Hillside, Bulawayo within the Presbytery of Zimbabwe. She is the chaplain of the Moderator of the UPCSA General Assembly.
“She is also the Moderator of the Council for World Mission,” said Rev Dr Lungile Mpetsheni from South Africa.
No comment could be obtained from Air Zimbabwe or the police.