Woman buried two weeks after dying

By Chenjerai Gumbeze


CHEGUTU – A woman’s body, which lay in the mortuary for almost two weeks has finally
been laid to rest following the intervention of a well-wisher last week.
Sibongile Mulemelwa from Beitbridge, died after a short illness at a local hospital. Her husband,
Japhet Sibanda, informed his brother-in-law, Simon Mulemelwa, who stays in the border town of
Beitbridge about Sibongile’s death.
The Mulemelwa family asked Sibanda to provide them with transport from Beitbridge to
Chegutu and back to attend the funeral.
However, Sibanda had no money to send to his in-laws. The family representatives had to use
their own initiatives to come to the funeral.
“Japhet was given another difficult option again, either to wrap his wife’s body and send it by
bus to Beitbridge or to bury her on his own,” said Tulani Kahwiza, a close friend of Sibanda.
Kahwiza said had it not been for the intervention of a local resident and former deputy mayor,
Edias Ticharwa, things would have been more difficult as there was totally nothing in terms of
food, transport, coffin and council bills.
The former deputy mayor pressurised the church which Sibongile had left seven years back to
chip in, in cash or kind.
The church then provided a coffin and transport for a decent burial.
Ticharwa paid all council bills including processing of an identity card as Sibongile had none.
The family also asked for a certain amount of money from Sibanda who was down and out but
the former deputy mayor chipped in with $100.
“Dai pasina vaTicharwa handizive kuti ndaitangira papi. Mukadzi wangu anga asiya zvechechi
makore manomwe adarika asi vaTicharwa vakataura nevechechi iyoyo vakabvuma kuviga
mukadzi wangu, ndinotenda kasingagume,” said Sibanda.
Sibongile was buried after negotiations between the two family representatives, who reached a
Ticharwa urged mourners to join funeral policies or even burial societies, which provide funeral
services in times of need.

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