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Funerals attendance: Concern over selective application of law

Makoni Central lawmaker, David Tekeshe, has expressed concern over the government’s selective’ application of the law regarding attendance numbers at funerals depending on who would have died.

According to the current Covid-19-induced lockdown measures, funeral gatherings are restricted to 30 while body viewing for those who succumb to the pandemic remains banned.

Raising a point of privilege in Parliament last Thursday, Tekeshe said it appeared like the law on 30 people attending funerals gets relaxed when a popular person passes on.

“My point of privilege pertains to people who attend funerals,” said Tekeshe.

“Yesterday (last Wednesday) we were attending a funeral in Rusape and there was discussion between the deceased’s relatives and Ministry of Health and Child Care officials.

The issue is that a number of people are attending funerals instead of the regulated figures. For example the recent funeral for Soldier Love, an artist who died recently and may his soul rest in peace.” 

Tekeshe added: “It seems there is selective application of the law because when a popular figure passes on, a number of people attend and the regulations only apply for ordinary people as they are a bit stringent.  So my question is on the application of law for particular individuals.”

In his response, National Assembly Speaker, Jacob Mudenda said the matter was something of national interest.

“It is a point of national interest,” said Mudenda.

“Surely, you will have done justice to yourself Honourable Tekeshe, if you ask this during question time so that the relevant minister can explain why certain funerals are allowed to have more people while others are not and you will have a better response from the minister concerned.”

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