Married church pastor killed killed himself after affair with teenage girl


A married church pastor who had an affair with a teenage girl killed himself because he was terrifed the scandal would wreck his reputation as a “man of God”, an inquest heard.

Ruvimbo Muchemwa, 34, took a fatal overdose after his 19-year-old lover dumped him for another man and his wife discovered the affair and threw him out.

The dad-of-two killed himself after telling his wife his reputation in the church was ruined.

The Zimbabwean-born pastor was found dead by police in the loft of his home in Bartley Green, Birmingham, on November 10, 2011.

Detective Constable Wayne Johnson, from West Midlands Police, said Mr Muchemwa’s lover emailed him on November 7 to say she was ending their relationship because she had met someone else.

An inquest heard Mr Muchemwa sent an email to a relative in Zimbabwe saying: “It is better to be alone on the corner of the roof than live with a contentious wife.”

Mr Muchemwa’s wife, Nyembesi, said her husband of seven years, a pastor at the Christian Faith Church in Bearwood, Birmingham, had threatened to kill himself if his affair was made public.

She told the inquest: “In his role he gave advice to the congregation in matrimonial matters, so the fact he was having an affair would have been very serious.

“‘Look at you’, I told him. ‘You’re a man of God. Having an affair doesn’t make sense’.

“He told me that if it came out, he would kill himself.”

Mrs Muchemwa said her husband, who left Zimbabwe a decade ago, suffered “constant back pain” following an accident at work and was unable to find employment as a teacher – causing him to become depressed.

She told the inquest she discovered his affair in March 2011 after reading saucy texts from the girl on his phone.

Mrs Muchemwa said her husband agreed to end the relationship but she found more texts and on November 8 she found the affair was still continuing, despite his denials.

She added: “I told him to pack his bags and go and live with his girl.

“I told him ‘Maybe I overestimated your sickness because you are cheating on me and that doesn’t add up’.”

Assistant Deputy Coroner Michael Snell recorded a verdict that Mr Muchemwa had taken his own life.

He said: “He was in incessant pain due to back problems, there was the situation with his wife and the involvement of a third party and there was the effect this would have on his position as a respected pastor.”

Verdict: Suicide.


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