Dying is expensive

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ANFROSSA MANYINDA writes 

DYING in Lusaka is expensive because of the high cost of graves in the private cemeteries while the free ones are almost filled up.

A search on burial sites on the Internet shows that Leopards Hill Memorial Park offers    beautifully designed adult individual graves for K35,000 while Mutumbi Cemetery and Remembrance Park offers Deluxe Themed grave for K5,500. The cheapest has been set at K2,250 for an adult and K750 for a child.

Family plots are also offered for anything upto K160,000 for families that want to be buried together.

However, a traditional councillor in Lusaka says the fees charged by some burial parks are senselessly high and should be standardised.

Mr. Edwin Zulu has appealed to government to regulate the operation of graveyards in order to standardise rates.

“It does not make sense to overcharge people for burying their loved ones,” said Mr. Zulu who suggested government should create more affordable burial sites as alternatives to private cemeteries.     

In an interview with The Lusaka Sun yesterday, Mr. Zulu observed that the number of deaths has increased and that it was unfair to charge exorbitant burial fees.

“It is not like you will harvest something when you pay so much for the burial space and I see no reason why they should overcharge people,” observed Mr. Zulu.

He said that it was in fact unfair to “over-tax” people that were in mourning.

He appealed to the local authorities to bring back the old system where it managed all grave yards and only charged people a small amount for maintenance of the burial sites.

“Let them bring back the system we had during the Kaunda era where the council managed all the graveyards and only charged a small amount of money for the grave diggers,” he said. 

Mr Zulu described burial fees of more than K1, 000 as unfair.

Meanwhile, The Sun has learnt that, of the four burial grounds managed by Lusaka City Council, only the new and old Leopards Hill Cemeteries charge a fee of up to K2000 for the graves while the Chingwele and Chunga graveyards are free. 

Bereaved families are only required to pay a negligible fee for the burial permit at the two Matero-based sites.

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