Bulawayo City Council has rejected a request from the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans (ZNLWVA) to have them provide free graves at its Provincial Heroes Acre.
The war vets body wrote to the local authority requesting 15 graves which the council would pay for. Part of the request reads:
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) is requesting your good office to assist in the digging of graves at the Provincial Heroes Acre. We are facing challenges at this site to provide graves to our deceased comrades. The Ministry of Public Works has a duty of providing materials, digging of graves but is unable to provide this service citing lack of funding. Currently relatives of War Veterans Association are taking the toll duty of providing this service with no assistance from anywhere hence our resort to ask for assistance from your office. If possible we can have 15 graves or more in the Heroes Acre for the time being.
The production of 20 graves would cost the council $860.
Debating the matter, councillors said the responsibility of producing graves at the provincial shrine lay with the Home Affairs ministry. A council report on the matter reads:
The Acting Director of Health Services explained in answer to a question that the responsibility for the provision of graves at the Heroes Acre lay with the Home Affairs Ministry through the Department of National Museums and Monuments. However, the Department was failing to follow this mandate through, hence the request by the Association for Council to step in and assist.
In the end, the councillors resolved that the war veterans should approach the Department of Museums and Monuments for assistance.