Exhumation fight tears family apart
AN Esigodini family has demanded the exhumation of their mother from Lupane where she was buried last Friday by her brothers without their consent.
Mrs Khesitha Moyo (62) from Entumbane suburb in Bulawayo, died on August 26 in Marondera and was allegedly illegally buried at her late parents’ home in Gomoza, under Chief Mabhikwa in Lupane.
She had been married for more than 30 years to Mr Mqanjelwa Moyo of Empisini village, under Chief Sigola in Esigodini.
Mr Moyo told The Chronicle he didn’t want compensation from his in-laws but just wanted a decent burial for his late wife at their matrimonial home.
A daughter to the late Mrs Moyo, who preferred anonymity, said her mother had been ill for some time.
“My mother had three children in Marondera before she got married to our father. They bore four children. They had been married for more than 30 years and that should have been respected.
“The three children from an earlier marriage approached our father recently and asked to take our mother so that they could ease the burden of looking after her since she had been ill for a while,” she said.
She said their uncles only informed them of their mother’s death when they were already on their way to bury her at their parents’ home in Lupane.
“Before we could arrange for her burial, they informed us that they were on the way. They arrived at our house in Entumbane where they placed the coffin in our garden for less than five minutes and proceeded with their journey.
“They denied us and our father permission to view the body. As we speak we are not even sure if it was indeed Khesitha in the coffin. They also refused to let any of us attend the burial in Gomoza on allegations that our father infected her with HIV,” she said.
The daughter said it was disrespectful and unfair of them to bury their mother at her late father’s home yet she built her own home with her husband.
She said they reported the matter to the police who referred them to the civil court.
“The courts advised us to engage our community leaders and resolve the matter. Chief Sigola of Esigodini Area and Chief Mabhikwa of Gomoza Area both discussed the matter and agreed that the two families meet at the chief ’s court in Lupane on September 10,” she said.
“We want to have the body exhumed and reburied at its proper place which is our father’s home, the home that she built with our father. We also want to prove that it was our mother in that coffin because we suspect foul play in this whole matter.”
Chief Sigola said it would have been proper for the body to be buried at the woman’s homestead.
“However, now that things have already been done in another way, I’ve engaged Chief Mabhikwa to summon the two families in conflict and resolve the matter.
“According to our culture, it would be improper for the families to exhume the body. I suggested the family would rather compensate Moyo and his family with five beasts. The dead deserve respect and so she should now be left to rest,” he said.
Chief Mabhikwa told The Chronicle that it was unethical to dig up a body and the families should find other ways of resolving the matter. — @winnie_ masara