Council hikes burial, cremation charges

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Helen Kadirire

STAFF WRITER

kadirireh@dailynews.co.zw

THE Harare City Council (HCC) has increased burial as well as cremation fees by more than 300 percent from 2019 fees.

According to a list released by the city on Thursday, prices have been categorised based on whether one is resident, non-resident and non-Zimbabwean.

The increase in fees comes after council recently opened up 500 more graves at Warren Hills Cemetery which has been closed after running out of burial space.

“Reservation of area A+ at Warren Hills, Greendale and Pioneer Cemetery sites has risen to $1 788 for residents up from $293, for non-residents it is now $2 386 from $391, $3 582 for non-Zimbabweans up from $587 and for the Jewish section it is now $2 983 up from $489,” read part of the price-list.

Reservation of a grave ranged between $150 and $391 in 2019 but has now risen to between $916 and $2 386.

Cremation of a Hindu adult was $196 but is now $1 196, while a Hindu child’s body now costs $597 up from $98 to cremate and non-Hindu’s have to fork out $1 788 from $293.

Burial charges of ashes ranged between $98 and $391 but are now priced between $597 and $2 386.

Council also noted that cremation of non-Zimbabwean non-Hindu adults will now cost $4 211 up from $690 while a non-resident non-Hindu child will be cremated for $2 105 up from $345.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme, however, refuted claims that the increase in fees was in anyway related to anticipated coronavirus (Covid-19) deaths.

“These are just inflation-adjusted fees which were agreed upon before the coronavirus was even detected in the country. It has nothing to do with speculation that because of the increase in cases, people will die in large numbers. We are simply doing this in order to also be able to provide other services from the funds that come from burials,” Chideme said.

The cumulative number of confirmed Covid-19 cases shot up to 149, including 28 recoveries and four deaths as of end-of-day Thursday.

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