FROM time immemorial, cemeteries or burial sites for the dead, have been places of immense veneration.
Most will agree that humans have been burying their dead since shortly after the origin of the species.
True, burials are often seen as according respect to the dead.
But lately the throwing of garbage and trespassing in Zambia’s burial sites has become a common feature.
Cemeteries have also become trading grounds and in some instances, the merchandise includes alcohol especially opaque beers which are freely sold there without a thought about the dead lying underneath.
The concerns therefore of a Lusaka traditional counselor, Edwin Zulu, who has called on all well-meaning citizens to respect the dead by avoiding throwing waste and trespassing in burial sites, deserves a listening ear.
Mr. Zulu was reacting to people who have, without any sense of remorse or shame, turned the Old Chilenje burial site into a dumping site for garbage.
The counselor is also right to condemn the practice of conducting whatever businesses in grave yards because indeed it is both a taboo and goes against the rich African culture and tradition which reveres graveyards.
If the dead were to wake up today, they would be shocked with what they would, find happening right at their final resting places. Pure infamy of the worst form.
Mr. Zulu may also be right when he cautions that the spirits of the dead were still living and it is wrong not to respect the dead.
He is not alone in this predicament. Ms. Namakau Kambikambi of Chilenje, also feels that it is not right for people to trespass or conduct business in graveyards.
Ms. Kambikambi insists that the dead should be treated with all due respect unlike what is being witnessed where people could do anything in cemeteries.
For now the buck stops at Lusaka City Council (LCC) which should in earnest enforce some of its by-laws to ensure that people stay clear of burial sites for obvious reasons.
But nonetheless Zambia should quickly get back to those old days when cemeteries were cherished as sanctity burial grounds of the departed ones who should be left to rest in eternal peace.