CEMETERIES in the city of Blantyre are in a sorry state.
Officials and residents are refusing to accept the responsibility of keeping them repaired and in dignified shape.
Questions have however, been raised on who is responsible of taking care of the cemeteries with some saying that it lies in the hands of the City Council while others say it is the responsibility of residents and religious groups.
Situated in Newlands, Limbe, is the Misesa Cemetery, which has proven to be one of the famous cemeteries in the city.
The current broken state of the cemetery is a sign that there is indeed negligence by authorities and residents when it comes to taking care of the facility.
The fence that once surrounded it is no longer there and no one seems to care to rehabilitate it.
There is tall grass that needs to be cut, yet people are still burying their beloved relatives in the cemetery.
Residents, however, are pointing fingers to the City Council saying that they pay a fee whenever they want to use the cemetery, hence the city’s mandate to take care of the facility and not them.
“We do pay the Council whenever we want to use the cemetery. So we pay with a great expectation that they will take care of the graveyard and not us. If they didnt want us to pay then at least we would have known that it is indeed our responsibility as we do in the villages, said one of the residents.
“The cemetery used to look beautiful and descent. Grass was cut frequently and the fence was also in good shape but now the cemetery is in a sorry state, which is bad. We feel the City Council is responsible since we do pay for space whenever we want to bury our relatives, added another
While some points out fingers at Council officials, others articulate the importance of them taking matters in their own hands.
They suggest people have the capability and responsibility of taking care of the facility. They said they too can tell the Council officials on how the cemeteries should look since the Council is there to serve them, so it is the residents responsibility to report where they are not satisfied.
Meanwhile Blantyre City Council says as much as it has the mandate of taking care of the cemeteries within the city, it is also the responsibility of residents who are users to take care of the cemeteries.
Public Relations Manager for the Council, Anthony Kasunda, told The Express that as a council, they believe in taking the city back to the people, meaning the residents also have an obligation to make sure that the facilities are in good shape.
However, the question on whether it is the City Councils or residents responsibility to take care of the cemeteries in the city still raises eyebrows.