TRIBUTES are flowing for a Melbourne mum and her 18-month-old daughter after they were killed in a tragic car crash in Zimbabwe just days before Christmas.
Claire Penno and her toddler daughter Anaishe were near Victoria Falls when Ms Penno’s husband, Emmanuel Mpofu, lost control of the car they were in on Thursday evening, according to local media reports.
Ms Penno, a childcare worker at the Guardian Early Learning Group in Melbourne, is being remembered by friends and family as an “innately good and wonderful person.”
Her workplace is offering counselling to co-workers struggling to process the tragic news so close to Christmas.
“She loved and centred her life on the welfare of children, their education and expanding their potential. She was amazing, she was beautiful inside and out and she was loved,” a tribute posted on social media said.
“Anaishe was just starting her life, full of character, personality and such intelligence. She had so much potential to bring to the world. She was her parents and grandparents’ world and she was truly loved.”
Dan Delts wrote on social media, saying Ms Penno was “the most amazing woman in the world”.
“She was all about the welfare of children and protecting children. She was a mother, step mother, foster mother and amazing friend to all that knew her. She will be greatly missed. We love you Claire and Anaishe,” he said.
Friend Bhekizulu Zwangobani started a GoFundMe fundraising page to raise funds to bring the two bodies back to Melbourne, raising more than $26,000 in two days.
A 14-year-old boy believed to be Mr Mpofu’s son also survived the accident.
The accident happened at Victoria Falls-Kazungula Road, according to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
“(They) died on the spot after sustaining head injuries following the accident,” the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reports.
“Husband Emmanuel Mpofu is a Zimbabwean national based in Australia and is currently admitted at Victoria Falls hospital.”