Council outlaws tombstones residents urged to opt for headstones

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has outlawed the erection of tombstones at the Athlone West and new cemeteries urging residents to opt for headstones.

In a statement, Monday, the Town Clerk Christopher Dube said the “erection of headstones will facilitate easy and effective maintenance of the cemeteries”.

The local authority is facing challenges in maintaining cemeteries and has been urging residents to consider cremation as it is running out of burial space.

Dube said the local authority was enforcing a council resolution of March 7, 2018, under the Cemeteries Act, Bulawayo Regulations 1967.

The Town Clerk added that the length of the headstones must not exceed a meter in length.

Dube said the headstone will only be erected if a certain laid down procedure has been followed.

“The deceased family’s or relatives approach the cemetery where the deceased person is buried with details of the deceased person. The cemetery supervisor checks the record to confirm the information. The supervisor may visit the graveyard to check physically after confirming or checking the cemetery records,” said Dube.

“On the day of putting up the grave monument, the family or the grave monumentalists presents the Tombstone Application Permit with the attached receipt to the Cemetery supervisor to verify payment and enter into the tombstone monumentalist Register.

“The cemetery supervisor will lead the family or the tombstone monumentalists to the graveyard to erect the monument and such work must be carried out to the satisfaction of the cemetery supervisor.”

The dimensions of the monument are 1.2 meters by 2.2 meters, Dube added.  

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