Marondera Municipality councillors are demanding authority to issue free graves at all cemeteries in the farming town in a move that will see the local authority losing meaningful revenue.
The demands were however met with resistance by council management which ordered the councillors to approach the District Development Coordinator (DDC) whose office deal with the issue of graves.
According to latest full council minutes, the councillors revealed that they hit a brick wall in being authorised with powers to secure graves from the DDCs office hence the need for council management to intervene.
“Cllr Nyahuye advised that he was facing challenges in requesting for free graves through the District Administrator’s office (now DDC).Councillors should be allowed to authorise for free graves.
“The Director of Housing and Community Services advised that law is law hence councillors should write supporting letters to the DA when requesting for free graves.
“Cllr Muponda advised that reasons should be submitted to the DA when requesting for free graves,” read the minutes.
As of this week, a grave at the plush Paradise Cemetery costs $7900 while council charges $800 per grave at Meki, along Mutare-Harare highway.
Open Council Marondera is reliably informed that councillors have been dishing out free graves to their party members and relatives thereby prejudicing council of meaningful revenue.
The local authority has been raising money through selling residential stands as well as graves since most residents are defaulting paying rates due to the prevailing economic hardships.
Marondera Municipality has 11 councillors from the MDC-A while Zanu PF has one.