By Natasha Kokai
Faced with limited burial space for Harare, the most populous city in the country, city fathers have since formed a tie-up with a private engineering firm to open a new cemetery.
City of Harare is expected to partner Zambuko Properties, which initially expressed willingness for a joint venture partnership to open Eyrestone Cemetery.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail last week, the city’s corporate communications manager, Mr Michael Chideme, said the project will start next year.
“The development of Eyrestone Cemetery will start early next year, with the preliminary work being done in the first quarter of 2019.
“This project comes as the city is running out of burial space,” he said.
According to the recent full council minutes, Zambuko would use its own financial resources to develop the infrastructure at the new cemetery and in return, the company would get 50 percent of undeveloped land for the development of its own cemetery.
“The scope of the works would include but not limited to reclaiming large pit-sand mines, construction of the road network; putting tar on the main road and compacted gravel for side roads and installation of a water system to the cemetery through borehole and piped municipal water.
“The works will also include development of strategic alliances with funeral homes and administration offices and ablution facilities. They are to construct a crematorium and a chapel.
“Zambuko is also to develop the boundary fence of the cemetery as per council’s specifications,” reads the proposal.
The minutes also stated that the town clerk, Eng Hosea Chisango, is set to enter into negotiations with Zambuko Properties and sign a memorandum of agreement on the scope of works.
This initiative is expected to ameliorate shrinking burial space.
Most of Harare’s 11 cemeteries are almost full, as individuals and corporates are taking up burial space in advance.
Of the 11 cemeteries, two are privately owned.
Some of the sites include Glen Forest Memorial Park, Zororo, Pioneer, Warren Hills, Granville A and B, which is popularly known as Mbudzi, among others.
The country second-biggest local authority, Bulawayo City Council, recently encouraged cremation of people less than 25 years of age as the city is also running out of burial space . Sunday Mail.