Residents of Mutare’s Yeovil suburb are living in constant fear and trauma as their location has literally merged with the adjacent Yeovil cemetery.
The cemetery has no wall or ablution facilities resulting in a constant interaction and contact between residents, mourners and dead bodies every day.
The United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust (UMMRT) said the residents are now heavily traumatised.
“Residents are lamenting that children are now in the habit of imitating mourners during their child plays or mahumbwe.
“The situation has resulted in children constructing small graves when playing and decorating them with flowers which is so pathetic.
“Due to the non-existence of ablution facilities near the current site for burial mourners are resorting to using facilities of residents adjacent to the cemetery without consent,” it said.
UMRRT added that during the night the situation has also resulted in trauma especially among those who disembark from commuter omnibuses.
“It is being said that artificial flowers on graves at night are causing a panic since they glow which is then construed as having seen ghosts.
“A wall should be constructed as soon as possible to restore the dignity of the residents living near Yeovil cemetery as well as maintain the spirit of ubuntu since burial must be done with humility and respect,” it added.
Burial space has slowly become a problem across various towns and cities in the country as urbanisation increases.
Harare and Bulawayo have all raised the challenge of burial space as they are running out of land for such.
The growth of locations, some of them illegally, has also provided a challenge as land barons pay no regard to the location of cemeteries when siting new stands for residents.