Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is set to begin cremations of deceased children aged 10 years and below. The new system is supposed to start this year as a means of easing burial space shortages. However, some residents are not happy about this development describing it as a cultural taboo.
Zanu-PF Politburo member Absalom Sikhosana spoke to the Sunday News and said:
It is taboo (kuyazila). While I cannot say what could be the view of the concerned family, it is given that traditionally people cannot be cremated. Regardless of age the fact that a child was born it makes him/her a person who deserves to be buried. I strongly disagree with cremation.
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Cremation is no different from burning someone and Biblically, the only place where one is expected to be burnt is in hell after Judgment. Who are we to burn someone? The council must try to find other places or even reopen graves and encourage burying spouses in the same grave as that will save the same purpose of preserving space. I believe it’s better than cremation.
However, the council is working on campaigns to educate residents to appreciate cremation. BCC’s public relations officer, Miss Bongiwe Ngwenya said:
Before the implementation of the resolution, we will be carrying out community awareness campaigns to familiarise the residents with the idea of cremation.
More: Sunday News