Zove - a brief account

Memorial Plaque
Memorial Stone at Zove for Berta Sengulare

The rural district of Zove, 320km to the south of Beira, has become special to ALMA for a tragic reason.

On 26 November 1998, Bishop Dinis Sengulane, his wife Berta and two of their sons were travelling to Beira with the first ALMA visitors to Mozambique – Elizabeth Tucker (a retired headteacher from Friern Barnet), Linda Hillier (a London Mothers’ Union trustee) and Robert Ashdown (an accountant from Fulham). They were on their way to attend a Mothers’ Union conference when their Land Rover overturned. The two boys sustained injuries, two of the visitors from London were seriously injured and Berta tragically died.

At the time of the accident, there was nothing at Zove. As a memorial to his wife, Bishop Dinis very much wanted to provide health services there. Now Zove has the Esperanca Berta health centre, the Esperanca Berta school and Santa Maria church.

There was a celebration at Zove on the tenth anniversary of the accident; there is an account from Bishop Dinis and also in Elizabeth Tucker’s visit report. This site has a picture gallery for Zove. And the following report from Fr Isaiah Andrice gives a picture of modern Zove:

Fr Isaiah Andrice’s report to the Parish of Friern Barnet, Lent 2007

Zove is in the district of Chibabava in the southern part of Sofala province. The languages spoken are Ndau and Portuguese; the district is 320 km from the city of Beira.

The nearest town is Muxungue. It is 20 km from Zove, and it is a town with commercial movement.

Zove is on the national highway. In recent years Zove has been appreciated by farmers and cattle breeders. It is a land of pineapples and cashew nuts which people travelling though the area cannot resist buying.

Unhappily during the past five years there has been drought. The majority of the men or youth have gone to work in the mines in South Africa. From that there has been an increase in the rate of HIV/Aids, resulting in many orphans.

Historically Chibabava is the district in Sofala province with the largest problems of domestic violence, and it was a zone of conflict during the years of the civil war.

The Anglican Church of St. Mary was founded in Zove in 1998 as a result of the accident involving people who were travelling to Beira for the Gospel. There are now five new communities:

  1. Mazungo 18 km
  2. Marrropanhe 15 km
  3. Guenje 5 km
  4. Town of Muxungue 20 km

Annually there are new people that accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, and some are baptised/confirmed.

Last year there were many accidents on the public highway near to Zove, including the death of some pastors from the Assemblies of God Church who were travelling from Maputo towards the centre of the country. An agricultural technician from Muxungue died in a motorbike accident and there were also other deaths.

Two workers at the church were lost after being knocked down and they left three small children and widows. The community of Zove has made arrangements to protect the children who attend the school and the women who get water from the well, by arranging alternative paths so that they do not have to walk on the main highway.

The pastoral assistance continues to be provided by Father Isaiah who comes from Beira. Locally there are some trained catechists. This year we received a seminary student who is doing his training in Zove. He is from Sena, which is in the same province. In November 2006 eight men were admitted into the fraternal of St. Bernardo Mizeki for the first time.


Thanks to the hospital in Zove the maternity death rate was reduced last year. Up until January maternity assistance was given to 15 women while giving birth, and just one baby was still born.

The hospital has only one nurse who oversees the vaccine program in five distant zones, working with a team to reach the women and children. On the days when the nurse is out the hospital is closed e.g. when the nurse goes for further training or to collect medicines. It is difficult to work alone - there is no assistant and no midwife.

There is a plan to build a house for women waiting to give birth and those accompanying them when they come from a long distance.


In the school there are lessons for 250 children from the 1st to 5th class in Zove and Mazungo, with four state teachers. Last year there was still support of school materials, and lunch from the MCC (Mozambique Council of Churches) so that the children did not give up because of hunger.

There is an allotment of 1,600 feet for pineapple seed and some cashew nuts for the pupils.

This year we have pre-school for children from 2 to 5 years of age.

There will be a class to teach adults in Zove to read and write. There will be an additional term in Guenje St. Bernado Mizeke; the local community is making bricks from mud to improve the room, but they need zinc roof sheeting.

To close here is the list of things to pray for

  1. Pray for the diocese as it seeks a padre to take care of Zove
  2. Pray for Father Isaiah while he ministers over a large pastoral area in Sofala; many times travelling to the rural district without his own transport.
  3. Pray for the new deacon that has been placed in Nhamatanda, 100 km from Beira. He is Deacon Manuel Nelson Bassaopa. Also for the seminary student in Zove who is João Camanguira.

In the Church

Pray for the committee that is translating the liturgy in Ndau and Sena. The committee is translating the work with a good heart, and without any support or property.

Pray for the leaders of the chapels where there are still no trained leaders, and nobody who can read in order to be trained to be catechists.

In the area of health pray for

  1. The need of a midwife and assistant to help the nurse.
  2. Give thanks to God for the community that supports and attends the hospital, especially the pregnant women.
  3. For the construction of the house where expected mothers can wait.
  4. For the lack of transport for the nurse to do the vaccines in the distant areas; a pushbike or motorbike.

In the school pray for

  1. The teachers and for good collaboration with the provincial and district government.
  2. For the construction of two new classrooms for more children.
  3. For the construction of an orphanage centre to place children that are orphaned or are vulnerable, who come from long distances to attend school and that don’t have anyone to take care of them.
  4. School material, tools, footballs and clothing.

To finish I invite all to pray for the 10th anniversary of granny Berta next year, and the 110th anniversary of the entrance of the Anglican Church in Sofala. I invite Mama Elizabeth, or someone from the parish, or the minister of your parish, to come and participate in the ceremony of the 10th anniversary in 2008.

God bless you all,
Father Isaiah
Lent 2007