Graves in the disused Gumtree Cemetery of the Gutu Rural District Council (GRDC) are now at risk of being destroyed by people desperate for farmland, NewZimbabwe.com has learned.
The cemetery in the suburb of Munhende hasn’t received much attention from local authorities since it suspended use in 2016.
Some residents, however, took advantage of the lack of a security fence to plow in and around the cemetery.
Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association (GURRA) chairman Lloyd Mupfudze accused the council of completely abandoning the cemetery when it opened another in Mushaviri.
“The council has neglected our old cemetery with massive urban farming in the area. Although the council has taken steps to create a new cemetery, they must continue to care for our cemetery. They should fence it off to protect the graves” , Mupfudze said.
GRDC President Gabriel Mapepa could not be reached for comment.
The Council’s Director General (CEO), Alexander Mutembwa, however, acknowledged that they had failed.
“It’s true, the place was still open and there’s nothing we did when it was downgraded, so people are cultivating all around it,” Mutembwa said.
Concerns have also been raised about Scomption residents plowing roads that have been neglected by council.