Budiriro tragedy: Row delays burial

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By Leroy Dzenga

Four Budiriro family members, who perished in a well earlier this week, could not be buried yesterday following clashes between the family and church over burial procedures.


Mr Cleopas Jokomera (63) and his three sons, Maclliff, Tom and Cleopas Jr died in a suspected case of toxic inhalations and were supposed to be buried in Harare yesterday.

Funeral proceedings hit a snag when church elders from the Johanne Masowe WeChishanu Bethlehem of Judea, which the late Mr Jokomera headed said their church did not allow body viewing.

Witnesses to the incident said relatives refused to let church rules prevail over their deceased relatives.

“There was a scuffle as church members blocked the relatives from bringing down the coffins from the truck transporting the bodies, saying it was against their church regulations to conduct body viewing,” the witness said.

The heated arguments are said to have continued until police intervened.

Relatives who spoke to The Herald expressed disdain over the church’s decision.

Mr Tichaona Mundandanda, a nephew to the late Mr Jokomera, said the couple should have communicated their pacts with the family.

“The problem is with the couple, they did not inform their families what they had signed up for at their church. Now we are not sure if their church members are telling the truth,” he said.

He said after deliberations, the Jokomera family agreed for the church to “do what they want”.

“It hurts to think that we are going to bury four of my uncles without body viewing them.

“They had relatives and colleagues who need to see them and pay their last respects,” Mundandanda said.

Family members were also complaining that they had heard cases of sinister rituals performed on bodies and wanted to confirm if indeed their relatives were in the coffins before burial.

Church leaders, however, claimed that body viewing was sinful.

The church elders fled the place on hearing of the presence of journalists.

A church member, who preferred anonymity, equated the tragedy to suicide, so they could not allow the body viewing.

“The way in which our fellow church members died is questionable, hence some have been saying that it is not proper to view their bodies,” he said.

He said the late Mr Jokomera, as a church leader, insisted on burying church members without body viewing.

“The man who died is the founder of our church and he buried a lot of people the same way. Rules cannot bend on him. Where were his relatives when he was burying our own relatives?” he added.

Mr Jokomera’s wife and mother to the three late sons, Ms Grace Chikembe, insisted that the agreement with the church had to stand.

“It is our fault. We had not told our relatives what we had agreed to. Truth is, this is the life we chose and our relatives should accept it,” she said.

The bodies were still stuck in the truck late last night with indications that the burial would be conducted today. The Herald

  • Ko church yakupinda papi futhi apa ngairege vanhu vaite zvinhu zvavo

  • Shame let their body and souls RIP

  • Mapositori itai muchiendawo kuchikoro maybe

    • Kumapisitori kunotove nevakadzidza kudarika iwe. But kana uri muko wepositori hau bendwe bcz ndinhingi afa. Ndokusaka zvichinzi kana wave kunamata positori gara pasi nehama dzako wodzitsanangurira kuti ndave kunamata ndichavigwa sekuda.

    • Kumapisitori kunotove nevakadzidza kudarika iwe. But kana uri muko wepositori hau bendwe bcz ndinhingi afa. Ndokusaka zvichinzi kana wave kunamata positori gara pasi nehama dzako wodzitsanangurira kuti ndave kunamata ndichavigwa sekuda.

    • toindepi mahaso

      hazvisi zvechikoro shamwari. I am a professor of law pandiri pano but am a full time mupositori. tinoteerera mweya mutsvene zvaunodzidzisa panguva yatinenge takatarisana nayo. firo yavanhu ava yakaita kuti mweya mutsvene utaure kuti musaita body viewing. hamufaniri kuonekana nevanhu ivavvo nekuti mweya yavo ingatodzoka ikazokunetsai mukurarama kwenyu hama dzacho imi. vapositori avo vanoda kukubatsirai nekuti imi hamuzivi. kana munhu afa mweya wake unofanirwa kuwana zororo kudenga, kana mukawonekana naye muri kudaidza mweya wake kuti udzoke muzotandara naye panyika. zvino matambudziko kwamuri iwayo nekuti anenge araswa kumatare. kusaziva hurema huye inhamo kwamuri. shorai zvenyu zvinotaurwa nemweya mutsvene zvakagara zvakadaro. zvazvinoreva ndezvekuti vafi ava vafa vasina mwenje wekunamata wakakwana. havana nzira nekuda kwemabatiro avo pavanga vachiri panyika. Inzwa unzwe ndakuporofita manje. chiporofita hachina basa neacademic level rako munhu. iyewe uri kutishora nhamo yauinayo yakaoma.uchafa uchiraswa kana ukasatendeuka. repent now and confess your sins bfore the Lord…..

  • The church does not impose itself on the family. If the family does not put them at the front to lead the burial process,let them accept that. After all, nothing changes in terms of the dead peeson’s last stand with God the Creator.

  • Zvinoda upinde mazviri kuti uzvinzwisise mungatonetseka zvenyu. There is nothing sinister about it asi vane mabasa avo vanoziva sei vachirambidzwa kuona mufi. Ndochingoti wonanai muri vapenyu muchidanana nekukurukura kana munhu ave mucoffin makuda kuchimuona kuti zvigodii?

    • Hapana chipostori chinorambidza mufi kuonekwa

    • Aah chinosiyana imi cgenyu ndechipi chinobvumidza?

    • Changu chinobvumidza vabereki nemaclose relatives chete

    • Chipositori ndicho chimwe chete asi chinozopatsananura miko nemirairo. Ava vane muko wavo unoti havaone vafi

  • As dull as . …

  • “The man who died is the founder of our church and he buried a lot of people the same way. Rules cannot bend on him. Where were his relatives when he was burying our own relatives?” he added.

    • Unfortunately this is man passed away without writing an advanced directive.. Family comes first sir

    • @ Donald Riziva: i agree with u bro. family first Mr zve church later. how difficulty family ikati tora church member yenyu mubve nayo mubva manoiviga , are they going to take? church ofcoz but ngaipibde mumashure meFamily

    • Hanty paaiviga dxenyu hama maibvuma imi vehukama, dai makaramba asina kudziviga, mutemo wechurch unotevera hama first hazvichinje, haungambonocheri guva pamusha pemunhu hama dzisina kubvuma uchiti ndiri Bishop,

    • Mr Sakala church yenyu inonzi ani zviya

  • Sad 😭

  • george g

    Zvakaoma! should the church be a hindrance to people or it should help them to attain salvation.These mapostori should go to school, kusadzidza kwakaipa chokwadi. crazy doctrines! that should be left to the family to decide on their dead, vanhu varikuchema hama dzavo and body viewing is therapeutic it helps people heal psychologically. why should some uneducated guy come up with silly rules and want to make them as the biblical truth? instead of conforting the bereaved u spend time and energy inflicting more pain.

  • Ko ma relatives ngavaite body viewing veku church vongoredza zve. Easy as that chete chete

  • Musa Khumalo come see

  • Hama dzangu shinhi neshereketi dzose dzinofarira kuona chitunha kuri kuvandudza nekupembedza zvikwambo zvawo zviziwei,chikwambo mishonga yakabva pakushandisirwa ivhu repamakuva kumutsa mufi kuti azoshandiswa muvapenyu murikurasika papi hongu varungu ndiwo vanozviitira kuonekana nevadikani vawo isu vatema heyi panenyaya.

  • ?

  • Uuuuum panorwadza moyo, ko vakavira sei vose nguva imwechete nhai imi yakandijamba

    • Vaida kukupa mugodhi.saka kwaiti apinda osafoketa mu.we otevera achida kubatsira apera simba iyewo apinda operawo mweya.saka baba ndovakazopedzisira.saka vakadzika 50m saka vaisaona kuti chii chirikuitika mumugodhi.

    • Thanks nekundizivisawo,mweya yetsvinawo zvainoita sooo,vanhu 4 nguva imwechete, ndarwadziwa

  • tee cee

    mamwe ma doctrine ndeekupenga

  • haikona kunetsana mahara imbiri yamurikuda here makarega mweya wetsvina uchiita madiro sei musina kuita nharo nawo ngatiitei nharo kudzinga mweya yetsvina kwete pachitunha

  • toindepi mahaso

    taurirai hama dzenyu kuti huriko humambo. ngavazive zvamunoitwa kana muchinamata,zvamunozoitwa kana mafa ndokunamata