IN a suspected case of ritualism, leading funeral services company, Doves Holdings Zimbabwe, has pulled a shocker after it allegedly gave a Nyanga family an empty coffin, kept the corpse for six months before they “secretly” buried the deceased in a pauper’s funeral it has emerged.
The scandal has been unearthed by the Chimwamurombe family, whose relative, the late Maxwell Chimwamurombe was allegedly trashed at Granville Cemetery better known as Mbudzi by the parlour after being kept at its mortuary for six months.
The whole time the family was at peace thinking they had given their dearly departed a befitting send-off not even assuming the coffin they buried was empty.
In a letter by Chimwamurombe’s lawyers seen by NewZimbabwe.com, the company has not bothered to admit or apologise over the incident despite acknowledging that “something” went wrong.
Wrote the lawyers, “Your organisation presented our clients with a coffin without a corpse for burial.
“Your organisation realised three days after the burial that the body was still in the mortuary. Your organisation kept quiet about the body it had from March 2021 to August 2021 (approximately 6 months). Your organisation in a completely bizarre and potentially callous and criminal manner proceeded to conceal evidence by burying our client’s relative without their knowledge and consent with a pauper at Granville cemetery,” the letter reads.
The family is suspecting ritualism.
“In a more shocking and completely unheard-of move, the burial was a mass grave type of burial. We are advised that our client’s relative was either buried in the same coffin with the pauper or buried in the same grave. All circumstances the burial being utterly disrespectful and demeaning the Chinwamurombe family,” it reads.
“One cannot rule out ritualism.”
According to the lawyers, Doves sent a “high-powered delegation” which included two directors, the Human Resources Executive, the Group Public Relations manager and the Chaplin to meet the family and the lawyers.
It is alleged that they approached the law firm creating a perception of acknowledging their organisations negligent, injurious and criminal conduct.
The family had travelled from Avilla and Kanyimo, Nyanga with the conciliation expectation of a repentant and sympathetic organisation but Doves disappointed them.
“We cannot say that was achieved. Your delegation blew out hot and cold when asked by our Mr Gombiro whether they accepted the facts amounting to your criminal, negligent and injurious conduct.”
The family said it is reserving the right to sue Doves for causing emotional pain and suffering.
It also said this means the funeral has been reopened and are seeking immediate action over the scandal.
The case has also been reported to the police, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Insurance and Pensions Commission and the Zimbabwe Chief’s Council for investigations.
Asked to comment, Doves Public Relations manager Innocent Tshuma said, “We informed the family as soon as we found out and began investigations. Will update when I have more information.”
The family is being represented by ChimwaMurombe legal practitioners.