Exodus Funeral Services pays bills for fire victims

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EXODUS Funeral Services in Bulawayo has said it would foot all the bills in the burial of the three people who perished in a fire that gutted an Emakhandeni house on Monday morning.

Report by Pamela Mhlanga

The company’s manager Winnie Ndlovu said they had been moved by the tragedy and had decided to address the plight of the family members, who desperately needed help to give the victims a decent burial.

“We went to talk to the bereaved family yesterday and we saw the sad situation there. They had nothing, from food to the coffins,” she said.

“We then assured them that we would take care of each and every burial preparation, including the provision of coffins, three funeral hearses, transport for the mourners, a church service and food. And it will all be free of charge.”

Ndlovu said the company had also embalmed the bodies for the burial, including transferring them from the hospital mortuary to the funeral palour yesterday.

“We were concerned about the state of the bodies at the hospital mortuary and as soon as the family gives us the necessary documentation, we would transfer them to the palour in Kelvin North,” she said.

Exodus sales and marketing manager Liberty Dzimwasha said the gesture was no publicity stunt, but they were doing it for the community.

“We decided to lend a helping hand since we are in this funeral services business. We had to reach out to the bereaved family in their time of need,” he said.

“We hope all organisations would do the same and not shy away from such corporate responsibilities. Developments such as these cannot go unnoticed.”

Prior to the gesture from the company, the family’s spokesperson, Luckson Mudinzwa, had said the burial of the three victims had initially been set for today or tomorrow, but there was a possibility of it being postponed due to inadequate resources.

“After the family discussions concerning the burial, it is now very difficult at the moment to set a definite day for the burial, as we have not yet received enough support in terms of resources for the burial arrangement,” he had said.

Meanwhile, the Bulawayo City Council’s Fire Brigade is yet to ascertain the cause of the fire that killed Chipo Mudinzwa (58), her 29-year-old daughter, Christine and son Cleopas (37) who were sleeping in the house when it caught fire.

According to reletives and neighbours, the cause of the fire is still a mystery to them, although they suspect supernatural causes, with reports that one of the deceased, Cleopas claimed he had seen goblins in the house on several occasions, threatening to burn him.

In an interview with Southern Eye yesterday, the department’s senior divisional officer Edward Mpofu said the cause of the fire was a mystery and they had since recorded it as such.