Coun­cil re­jects war vets’ ex­ca­va­tor re­quest

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

THE Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil has re­jected an ap­pli­ca­tion by the Zim­babwe Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion War Vet­er­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ZNLWVA) for coun­cil to pro­vide an ex­ca­va­tor to dig graves at the Bu­l­awayo Pro­vin­cial Heroes Acre in Nku­lumane for free.

In the lat­est coun­cil min­utes, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity said the ex­er­cise was costly and the re­quest comes at a time when it is fac­ing fund­ing chal­lenges.

Coun­cil said it costs a min­i­mum of $3 400 to use its ex­ca­va­tor to dig 10 graves and level the ground.

“Given that ex­ca­va­tions would be re­quested once a year and lev­el­ling of burial space be­ing done once in five years, with this fre­quency the plant can be made avail­able for work. The mat­ter was con­sid­ered and the view was that coun­cil could not af­ford to of­fer its ser­vices for free as it was also fi­nan­cially over­bur­dened,” read the min­utes.

In its ap­pli­ca­tion, the ZNLWVA had said the Pro­vin­cial Heroes’ Acre is sit­u­ated in a hilly place mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for mem­bers to dig graves.

“The above as­so­ci­a­tion was re­quest­ing for help in the form of an ex­ca­va­tor to help us in dig­ging graves at the Bu­l­awayo Pro­vin­cial Heroes Acre. The mem­bers of the as­so­ci­a­tion are find­ing it dif­fi­cult to dig the graves as it is a hilly place. They are at times fail­ing to bury com­rades in time be­cause of the length of time spent dig­ging graves,” read the min­utes.

“The as­so­ci­a­tion is there­fore re­quest­ing coun­cil to pro­vide an ex­ca­va­tor to dig graves at no cost to the As­so­ci­a­tion. It pro­poses that 10 graves be ex­ca­vated each time the ma­chine is re­quested.”

Ac­cord­ing to the min­utes, the war vet­er­ans wanted the ex­ca­va­tor as a mat­ter of ur­gency.

“The as­so­ci­a­tion has in­di­cated that the only space re­main­ing at the site can only accommodate one grave. To pro­vide more burial space to accommodate fu­ture graves, there is a need to level off the ad­ja­cent ground (ap­prox­i­mately 100m x 100m) and this has to be car­ried out as soon as pos­si­ble,” read the min­utes.

The is the sec­ond time coun­cil has turned down a re­quest made by the ZNLWVA. Early this year, the ex–com­bat­ants re­quested for land to build a me­mo­rial clinic in Pu­mula South sub­urb, and the re­quest was re­jected. — @nqot­shili

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