Ex­huma­tion fight tears fam­ily apart

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Whins­ley Masara

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

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