CLAIM: BCC has banned the erection of tombstones at its cemeteries.
VERDICT: CORRECT, the local authority banned the use of tombstones two years ago urging the city’s residents to settle for headstones instead.
In an article dated July 16th by the Chronicle newspaper, the family of the late Elvis Nyathi who was brutally murdered in South Africa earlier this year had just erected a headstone on his grave which is located in Bulawayo’s Umvutcha Cemetery.
During his funeral wake, a tombstone manufacturing company, Northern Granites had promised erect a tombstone for the slain father of four, however, three months later they erected a headstone claiming that it was as far as they could go since the local authority had banned the erection of tombstones.
“We wanted to erect a tombstone, but the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) advised us that we had to do with a headstone because it had banned tombstones. We may apply for a waiver so that we honour our brother the right way, we do not think that the gravestone is enough,” director and Northern Granite, Lino Nyevhe said.
In 2020 issued a statement announcing that it had banned the erection of tombstones at its new cemeteries.
Reads the statement: “The City of Bulawayo would like to advise members of the public, Grave Monumentalists and Funeral Service Providers that in terms of the Cemeteries Act, the Bulawayo (Cemeteries) Regulations, 1967 and a Council resolution of Wednesday, March 7, 2018, that only headstones shall be erected on graves at Athlone West cemetery and other cemeteries. The erection of headstones will facilitate easy and effective maintenance of cemeteries,’ Dube said.
Dube added, “Deceased’s family or relatives approach the cemetery where the deceased person is buried with the details of the deceased person. The cemetery supervisor checks the records to confirm the information. The supervisor may visit the graveyard to check physically after confirming or checking the cemetery records.
The cemetery supervisor assists the applicants in completing the Tombstone application form and fills in the Pro-Forma invoice, giving additional information and advice on the erection of the tombstone. The applicant takes the Pro-Forma invoice to the revenue hall for payment where a receipt is issued and taken to the 1st floor, Tower Block for authorization.”
CONCLUSION: The Bulawayo City Council banned the erection of tombstones in some of the city’s graveyards including Umvutcha cemetery.