Doves builds fu­neral par­lour in Beit­bridge

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Thu­peyo Mu­leya Beit­bridge Bureau

DOVES Fu­neral As­sur­ance, a sub­sidiary of Doves Hold­ings, has con­structed a state of the art fu­neral par­lour at Beit­bridge District Hos­pi­tal to im­prove ser­vice and cater for repa­tri­a­tion of bod­ies of Zim­bab­weans who die in South Africa.

The new par­lour is 90 per­cent com­plete and will house a mor­tu­ary with a car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity of 40 bod­ies, a chapel to ac­com­mo­date 200 peo­ple, of­fices and a show­room.

Beit­bridge Hos­pi­tal is a re­fer­ral cen­tre for 120,000 peo­ple and caters for a daily tran­sit pop­u­la­tion yet it re­lies on a mor­tu­ary which car­ries 30 bod­ies at any given time.

How­ever, due to deaths em­a­nat­ing from road ac­ci­dents on high­ways lead­ing to both Harare and Bu­l­awayo, the mor­tu­ary is peren­ni­ally over­whelmed.

An av­er­age of 100 bod­ies of Zim­bab­weans are repa­tri­ated from South Africa for burial in the coun­try on a monthly ba­sis.

The ma­jor des­ti­na­tions are mainly Plumtree, Bu­l­awayo, Tsholot­sho, Nkayi, Gwanda, Beit­bridge, Ma­tobo and Zaka, Chiredzi, Mwenezi and Bikita in Masvingo prov­ince.

It is also un­der­stood that most of the peo­ple die in win­ter and the ma­jor causes are dis­eases such as Bran­cho pneu­mo­nia, Hep­ati­tis B, Menin­gi­tis, Pul­monary TB, Pneu­mo­nia Hep­ati­tis, HIV/AIDS and other retro-vi­ral dis­eases.

Doves Hold­ings board chair­man, Ma­jor Gen­eral En­gel­bert Rugeje, said the 114-year-old busi­ness is cur­rently in­vest­ing in new par­lours, buses, hearses, am­bu­lances and fu­neral ser­vices equip­ment.

“The Beit­bridge project is one of our cap­i­tal in­vest­ments and we ex­pect the par­lour to be op­er­a­tional in the next two months.

“This is a project that will help re­lief pres­sure at the lo­cal hos­pi­tal and also cater for those bod­ies be­ing repa­tri­ated from South Africa via Beit­bridge bor­der post, ” he said.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion has ac­quired a new fleet of buses and 48 hearses which will soon be dis­trib­uted across their branches in the coun­try.

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