Cemetery Under Threat As Residents Plough On Boundaries

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By Clayton Shereni, Masvingo Correspondent

GRAVES at Gutu Rural Disctrict Council’s (GRDC) decommissioned Gumtree Cemetery are now in danger of being destroyed by people desperate for farming land, has learnt.

The cemetery located in Munhende suburb has not been receiving much attention from the local authority since it suspended its use in 2016.

Some residents have however taken advantage of the absence of a security fence to plough in and around the graveyard.

Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association (GURRA) chairperson, Lloyd Mupfudze blamed council for completely abandoning the cemetery the moment it opened another at Mushaviri.

“Council has neglected our old cemetery with massive urban farming taking place in the area. Although council has taken steps to create a new cemetery, they must continue to take care of our graveyard. They should fence it to protect graves,” said Mupfudze.

GRDC chairperson Gabriel Mapepa was not reachable for comment.

Council chief executive officer (CEO) Alexander Mutembwa however conceded that they had failed.

“It is true, the place was always open and there is nothing that we did when it was decommissioned, so people are farming all around,” said Mutembwa.

Concerns have also been raised about Scomption residents ploughing in roads that have been neglected by council.