Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter
THERE was drama at a funeral in Mutare’s Sakubva high density suburb after tenants renting an apartment in Maonde locked out the corpse of their deceased landlord, forcing relatives and neighbours to mourn in the open.
When they locked the house and disappeared with the keys, the tenants left a radio playing loudly inside the house, creating an embarrassing situation as the music distorted funeral proceedings outside.
When The Manica Post arrived at House Number 33 Maonde yesterday morning, mourners were at loss of words to explain the weird set up.
The deceased, Jairosi Sithole, who was a teacher based in Marange died in Harare and his family members requested that he be buried in Mutare.
Relatives said the deceased was no longer staying at his Maonde house, which he was now subletting to tenants.
It is alleged that when the tenants heard that their landlord had died in Harare and that the corpse was now in transit from the capital city to Mutare for funeral proceedings and subsequent burial in the city, they locked the house and bolted from the scene.
“This is shocking,” said a neighbour who chose not to be named.
“The tenants were told that their landlord is no more and the funeral will take place here. Soon after hearing the news they ran away with the keys to the house. We are trying to call them but they are not answering. We took the corpse from the mortuary on Wednesday and we placed the casket outside because the doors were locked. As you can see the body of the deceased spent the whole night outside. This is unheard of in our African tradition,” he said.
An elderly relative Sekuru Peter Bonderai said what was happening at the funeral was shameful.
“I am an uncle of the deceased person. We are shocked with what is happening here. I questioned the wife of the deceased over the issue and she is saying incoherent things. Can you imagine we are mourning here and a radio is playing loudly inside the house? We cannot turn it off because the doors are locked.”
A woman who claimed to be the wife of the deceased person charged towards the news crew telling reporters to go away.
“You don’t have a right to be here. Who called you to come? What is happening here is because of disagreements between my family and my deceased husband’s relatives. We have a farm in Vumba. I told them to go and conduct the funeral at the our farm but they refused opting to come here. Look what has happened now, the doors have been locked before us,” she said on top of her voice.
In a bid to save the situation, some relatives went to the police to seek permission to break open the house but they were advised not to.
Since the house was locked mourners were seeking ablution facilities from surrounding neighbours.
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