Doves caught in empty coffin burial scandal

HARARE – Leading funeral services company, Doves, allegedly buried a coffin without a body in error, and when it became aware of the mistake six months later, it disposed of the body without the knowledge of the dead man’s family.

HARARE – Leading undertaker Doves allegedly buried a coffin without a body by mistake, and when he learned of the error six months later, he disposed of the body without the knowledge of the family of the deceased.

The shock allegations were made by a Harare law firm, which is threatening legal action on behalf of the family.

Doves admitted the error during a meeting with the family, according to law firm Fungai Chimwamurombe, Chimwamurombe Legal Practice.

The dispute concerns the body of Maxwell Chimwamurombe, who died in March this year in a drowning incident.

The body parts were reportedly scattered and collected in plastic bags and collected for Doves’ funeral in Harare.

Inexplicably, an undertaker from Dove traveled to a small village in Nyanga to be buried without Maxwell’s remains.

There was no viewing of the body due to COVID-19 regulations and the lightness of the coffin was explained by the recovered skeletal body parts.

Lawyer Chimwamurombe claims Doves knew within three days of the burial that there was no body in the coffin – but took no action until Maxwell’s remains were buried in the cemetery de Granville in August.

Doves allegedly buried a coffin without a body
Doves allegedly buried a coffin without a body

“We have been told that our client’s relative is buried either in the same coffin as the poor man or in the same grave. All of the circumstances surrounding the funeral are absolutely disrespectful and humiliating to the Chimwamurombe family. You cannot rule out ritualism,” the lawyer said in the October 27 letter to Doves.

Senior Doves executives met with the family last week but it is understood there was disagreement over the settlement, which the lawyers are demanding, including a brand new car and $123,000.

Chimwamurombe said the Dove delegation was “blowing hot and cold” on the negotiations, accepting that “something was wrong but no concrete facts”.

“As you may be aware, you have reopened our client’s funeral and a speedy resolution of the matter is greatly appreciated,” the attorney said in the letter, which was also copied to Republic Police of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

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