Council rejects war vets’ excavator request
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