Paupers’ burial for 31 bodies in Chitungwiza

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Tarisai Machakaire


CHITUNGWIZA General Hospital has begun arrangements for paupers’ burials for 31 bodies that have not been claimed from its mortuary since last year.

The hospital announced this week that the mortuary, which has a carrying capacity of 43 corpses, was now congested

“No one has come to collect the bodies and efforts to identify their relatives have failed,” the hospital said in a statement. 

“According to hospital policy, we wait for two months, thereafter, we organise a pauper’s burial,” the statement said.

“Ten bodies have been at the hospital mortuary since 2019 and we have another 21 bodies from the beginning of this year. The last pauper’s burial was in May 2020.

“Some of the bodies could not be buried because police were still carrying out investigations on the circumstances leading to the deaths.

“The burials will be funded by the government through the Social Welfare ministry and, as part of procedure, a grace period of more than 21 days from the date of announcement is given to accommodate residents who may want to identify bodies.

“The public should report to the police or hospitals if they have missing relatives.

“The public should not give false names and should carry their identity cards when travelling in case of emergencies.”

The hospital said some of the bodies were from road accidents, some were murder victims and some were a result of drowning.

“We have bodies of elderly people from Bumhudzo Old People’s Home who had no known relatives.

“There is one maternity case where relatives have disagreed on burying the deceased person. We have been calling them but they are not answering our calls, leaving us with no option but to bury the person.”

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