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New cemetery opens in Bulawayo

by Staff reporter
13 Jun 2017 at 06:54hrs | Views
A NEW private cemetery has opened for burials in Bulawayo's Northlyn and Trenance suburbs.

The Acting Director of Health Services Dr Edwin Sibanda said the Government approved the establishment of the private cemetery last year soon after the brief closure of West Park as it had run out of burial space.

"A new private cemetery had been gazetted in Northvale Lot 100 of John Makunga. Burials can now take place," said Dr Sibanda in the latest council report.

The new cemetery would be for the upper class and each grave would cost $5 000. Prices for graves at city council cemeteries range between $47 and $92.

"I can confirm that the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has  consented in terms of Section 35(i)(a) of the Cemeteries Act - Chapter 5:04 to the establishment of a private cemetery on Remainder of Hundred Acre Lot - John Makunga in Northlyn and Trenance areas," said Dr Sibanda.

Bulawayo was facing a crisis of burial space following the closure of West Park Cemetery last year and residents were all being referred to Luveve Cemetery for burials.

Council later utilised some remaining space at West Park Cemetery and burials are still taking place there.

Other cemeteries are set to be opened in Marvel Township and Pumula South suburb.

Dr Sibanda explained that land used for cemeteries could not have development established on it because of the soils and terrain.

Meanwhile, council is worried by the increasing theft cases at cemeteries during burials and is encouraging mourners to be careful.

Councillor Monica Lubimbi said thieves were now targeting mourners' vehicles left parked outside West Park cemetery during burials.

She said appropriate action should be taken to protect mourners' property during burials.

"Residents should be encouraged to secure their vehicles at cemeteries during burials. Police should also patrol the area to deter thieves" she said.

Dr Sibanda concurred with Clr Lubimbi saying measures should be taken to improve security following an upsurge in cases of theft during burials at West Park cemetery.

"In view of this councillors should encourage residents to secure their vehicles during burials. Police arrested some suspects recently in connection with the thefts or burglary," said Dr Sibanda.

The councillors also noted that there was congestion at cemeteries and Dr Sibanda explained that it was caused by failure to adhere to stipulated burial times given to the bereaved families.

He encouraged residents to keep time and discouraged them from driving into cemeteries.

Council had set 12 noon as closing time for all cemeteries.

In April, council recorded 384 burials at its cemeteries and 13 cremations. Council once mulled plans to offer cremation free of charge to make it more acceptable to residents as the city was fast running out of burial space.

However, the idea was met with stiff resistance from residents who maintain that burning the body of a loved one is against African culture.

Councillors agreed that the concept of cremation should be sold to the younger generation and also encouraged people to write wills and specify such choices.

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