The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has turned down an application to develop a private cemetery near Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo airport.
According to the latest town, lands and planning report, the Town Clerk, Christopher Dube reported (13th August 2021) that an application dated (7th May 2021) to establish a cemetery had been received from Nondwene City (Pvt) Ltd.
“The application had been advertised and adjacent property owners notified. No objections had been received. It had also been circulated to municipal departments and no adverse comments had been received. At the time of writing of the report, the cemetery had yet been established,” read the report.
Dube said the application was also circulated to the Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) who objected to the application since the land in question was within the vicinity of the airport.
“In this zone land use is required to be limited to aviation-related business and/or agricultural business,” read the report.
They added that a cemetery in this area would not be compatible with other recommended businesses and would not comply with business practices on developments around airports.
“The Airports Company of Zimbabwe, therefore, has reservations on the establishment of the cemetery on this location. Please ensure that any developments in this area comply with development control requirements as defined in the Civil Aviation Act chapter 13:16 and Civil Aviation amendment act number 10 of 2018,” read the report.
Meanwhile, the City’s health department had also advised that any land that had been utilised for cemetery purposes can only be used for other uses (reclaimed) after 150 years from the date of the last burial.
The Committee considered the matter and ward 13 Councillor Frank Javangwe did not support the application saying private cemeteries were not prudent for the city.
” In some case, they were handed back to council with operational costs,” he said.
The Acting Director of Town Planning in response explained that the area fell in the concentric zones which were reserved for the Airport expansion and the establishment for related industries.
“The City’s Health Department had been advised that land used for a cemetery could only be utilized for other purposes after a period of 100years from the date of the last burial. The land was owned by Nondwene City (Pvt) Ltd. In terms of the local Plan number 10, it was zoned residential,” read the report.