Friends and family of a University of Waterloo student from Zimbabwe who died in a weekend hit-and-run in Toronto are trying to raise money to send his body home.

Munyaradzi Sithole, a graduate student, had been out celebrating his 31st birthday with friends on Friday. Police say he was struck and killed by a minivan at around 5 a.m. Saturday on St. Clair Avenue West, west of Symes Road.

Munyaradzi.Sithole

Munyaradzi Sithole was a student at the University of Waterloo and had plans to start his own moving business. (GoFundMe.com)

The driver fled the scene and the minivan was later found near Dixon Road and Highway 27. Police said Monday they expect to make an arrest in the case on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Sithole's family members in Zimbabwe are trying to come to grips with the loss.

"It's really tough for them to comprehend what happened," Venancia Chakabveyo, a relative of Sithole's who lives in Canada, told CBC News on Monday. "It's tough to get a phone call saying, 'Your loved one has passed away.'"

Chakabveyo said Sithole was a graduate student who had completed his master's degree in geological information systems at the University of Waterloo. He had plans to start a moving business after his studies were complete.

Chakabveyo said Sithole's family do not have the means to travel to Canada.

His friends and family have started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise between $25,000 to $30,000 to cover the cost of sending his body back to Zimbabwe and providing a burial there.  

"This was a hard-working young man — a dedicated person," said Chakabveyo. "He has no immediate family in Canada, most of his friends are in Zimbabwe. That's why we are trying to help them by raising the funds."