Corpse stolen from mortuary

17 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Corpse stolen from mortuary Chief Mutasa

The ManicaPost


Tendai Gukutikwa
Post Reporter


IN a bizarre incident, a woman allegedly misrepresented herself as the mother of her deceased grandson and stole his corpse from the mortuary and fast-tracked the burial without the knowledge and consent of the grieving mother.


The body-snatching from Bonda Mission Hospital mortuary was allegedly masterminded by Dropper Makwanza after she allegedly falsified information and impersonated the deceased’s mother — Lisa Mafunga — to collect a burial order for the late Denver Makwanza (14) without informing and agreeing with the mother.


Even Chief Mutasa, who presided over the matter last Saturday at his traditional court, expressed shock and disbelief over the incident which has raised eyebrows and referred it to Ruda Police Station for criminal investigations.


He adjourned the matter to June 8, 2024.


Arguing his matter, Lisa’s father — Mr Peter Mafunga — said his family was outraged and devastated by their in-laws’ contempt to bury their grandson without informing them.


He said they only got wind of the issue through the grapevine, adding that all this happened while they were assuming that the body was still at the hospital mortuary waiting for the arrival of the deceased’s father from South Africa.


“We only discovered the truth after rumours started circulating, and it devastated us. Moreso, my grieving daughter was waiting for the arrival of the deceased’s father from South Africa so that they could bury their late son together. She did not know that her son had already been buried without her knowledge.


“My daughter and the deceased’s father had separated, and I was the one looking after their two children all along. To hear that they buried one of the children I have been taking care of behind my back and without my grieving daughter’s knowledge or consent is really shocking,” he said.


Mr Mafunga said this was not the first time that his in-laws have done so.


He said the Makwazas did the same when his daughter’s other child died a few years ago.


“This is not their first time to do such a despicable thing to us. They are full of contempt and dirty tricks, and I do not think that the father of this child, who is in South Africa, even knows that his child is now late as they want us to believe.


“If he did, why would he sanction his family to bury his late child without the knowledge and consent of his mother? After all, my family stays just a village away from theirs. This unthinkable act subjected my grieving daughter to emotional and psychological trauma, torture, unimaginable pain and suffering.


“Her son’s death was equally tragic, and events that followed rubbed salt and hot pepper on a bleeding wound, and such scar will take ages to heal.


She is emotionally and psychologically paralysed, and I hope justice will be served, with those responsible facing the full wrath of the law for their despicable actions,” he said.


He said Dropper Makwanza forged documents, and misrepresented herself as the deceased’s mother to collect the corpse from the hospital mortuary for burial.


Lisa, who had tears rolling down her cheeks throughout the court session, said it will take her ages to come to terms with the painful incident.


She does not even know where her late son was buried.


“I am in pain, and as I speak, I do not know where they buried my son. I did not bid him farewell. They manipulated the whole process and collocated his corpse and buried it behind my back,” she said.


However, an unfazed Makwanza disputed the allegations, arguing that she informed Lisa about Denver’s death and the Mafungas made an obnoxious demand of US$500 to attend the funeral.


“They demanded that we pay them US$500 before they would allow the burial of their grandchild. We were in the process of looking for the money, and had raised about US$250, but could not raise the whole amount.


“I then contacted the deceased’s father in South Africa, who sent us some money for the burial, and instructed us to bury his child, and there was nothing we could do,” she said.


Ms Makwanza claimed that they collected the corpse from the hospital with the aid of letters from the police and their village head.


“The letters stated that the deceased’s mother and her family were refusing to take part in the funeral proceedings. Those are the same letters together with my identity card that we used to obtain the burial order. Everything was done above board.


“I never forged any documents and never misrepresented myself as the child’s mother,” she said, adding that it did not go down well with her that even the deceased’s father did not attend the funeral.


While chastising the two families, Chief Mutasa vowed to get to the bottom of the matter.


He said it was culturally unacceptable and disheartening to connive to bury the deceased without the knowledge and consent of the grieving mother.


He also said it was unconscionable for any bereaved family to demand payment as a condition to participate in funeral proceedings of a relative.


“How could you stoop so low as to steal a corpse and bury it without the grieving mother’s knowledge or consent? And what kind of family would demand payment to sanction the burial of their loved one?
Why did you not just let them bury the child according to the Burial and Cremation Act, and deal with any other outstanding issues afterwards?


Both families were wrong, and we will deal with this matter to its logical conclusion.


“First, we need to ascertain how you got the burial order without any identity particulars to prove that you were the mother of the deceased as well as how you collected the corpse from the mortuary,” said Chief Mutasa.


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