The planned exhumation and reburial of hundreds of people believed to be buried under rubble when the province was hit by Cyclone Idai in March has been halted by Manicaland province traditional leaders.
The leaders say that cleansing ceremonies need to be conducted before the exhumation and reburial begin.
The exhumation of bodies was temporarily stopped by traditional leaders on the pretext that they want to hold some cleansing ceremonies. Each of the traditional leaders in the affected areas will conduct such ceremonies in the area of his jurisdiction on different dates. Currently, I know of Chief Ngorima’s event to be held on July 7. The traditional leaders are also trying to protect the national monuments in their areas.
About 330 people are still unaccounted for since disaster struck in the province. Some of the dead bodies were reportedly buried in mass graves due to the shortage of manpower and resources, as most places were inaccessible due to damaged roads. This move angered the traditional leaders in the area, who were against such burials.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was therefore forced to meet 13 chiefs in Chimanimani where he apologised on behalf of the state for rushing to save people without officially engaging the local leadership.
More: News Day