Harare City cemeteries in a sorry state

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready…
Writes Primrose Zimano
Harare City Council cemeteries are in a sorry state due to poor maintenance with most of them now covered with tall grass, shrubs, and litter.
A visit at one of the cemeteries, Warren Hills yesterday showed that identifying a loved one’s grave is now a thorn in the flesh as they are less visible due to the tall grass and shrubs.
Due to a lack of maintenance by the city council authorities, the graveyard is also now a haven for criminal activities including a hub for drugs and pickpocketing.
Even navigating in the cemetery has been a nightmare as the graveyard is being slowly turned into a dumpsite with garbage all over covering some graves.
To some rogue personnel who have probably lost respect for the dead, they are also turning the cemetery into a lovers’ nest with used condoms being witnessed all over the place.
Some council officials are now taking advantage by charging between US$5 to US$10 to maintain the graves to those who can afford to.
A widow, Mrs Joseline Nyamunda said her husband’s grave is now in a sorry state due to lack of constant maintenance and usually makes use of her spare time to maintain it.
Mrs Nyamunda said when funds permit, she pays for council officials to do the job for her.
“If I have money, I pay for my husband’s grave maintenance, or in my spare time I clean it myself sometimes with the help of my children,” she said.
Another concerned resident, Mr Johnson Chegumbo said the tall grass was also posing a danger to potentially deadly reptiles.
“This grass is just too much. Maybe one day the snake will bite me while navigating past this graveyard. I pass through here daily going to Warren Park 1 from Warren Park D,” he said.
Harare City Spokesperson, Mr Stanely Gama said they are the ones in charge of the city cemeteries maintenance and will do so once they finish off with the Government coordinated Operation Chenesa to clear garbage around town.
“Warren Hills and Granville (Mbudzi) will be cleared in the next few days after clearing the Central Business Centre of Harare,” he said.
Mr Gama said while their employees are just returning from holidays the grass is usually tall during the rainy season.