By Risco Lumamezi
The Katima Mulilo State Hospital Authority has buried 8 unclaimed bodies in a mass grave at Katima Mulilo Cemetery on Thursday, after their relatives could not be located for proper funeral.
This came after the hospital has kept the corpses for two years in a state mortuary without the family coming to claim the bodies.
Acting Health Director for Zambezi Region Mrs. Agnes Mwilima said that it took them long to find the relatives of the eight bodies after the deceased patients died in the hospital.
She added that “we decided to put them in a mortuary for the relatives to claim their bodies.”
She however, revealed that the Katima Mulilo State Hospital decided to inform the regional government and the ministry in Windhoek, Zambian authority, Katima Mulilo Town Council and later the Katima Mulilo magistrate gave them permission to bury the bodies.
“Katima Mulilo Town Council gave us a big grave and manpower” said the Health Director.
Mrs. Mwilima clarified that it was very difficult to distinguish whether they (deceased) were Zambian or Namibian nationals. This was also hard to establish and get their relatives as the deceased had same common names which are similar to those in Zambezi region and Zambia’s western province.
Mr. Zachariah Ndopu, a retired School Inspector, now a member of the Katima Mulilo Health Advisory Authority Council announced the names of the deceased as Theremo Lukas aged 35, died on 2 May 2011, Sinalumbu Oscar age unknown died on 2 March 2012, Nyambe Shimuji aged 29 died on 13 May 2012, Likando Sydney ( 44) died on 6 August 2012, Lisulo Rapheal aged 31 died 1 February 2013, Mute Kutenda , 31 year old died March 8, 2013 ,Kwenisa Mayalo a 48 year old Zambian national who was identified by his brother during the burial died on 15 April 2013 and Munchu Evans 41, died on 8 March 2013.
However, among the deceased 8, one was identified by his relative brother Mr.Kopano Mayalo from Lilonga in the western province of Zambia. He said that his late brother came to Namibia in 2012 looking for peace of work and since then he did not go back home.
This was witnessed by Nampol Regional Police Commander Mr. Sankwasa for Zambezi region, Zambia Police Service commander for Sesheke, Zambezi pastor’s forum with choir helped with funeral service and health staff also attended the occasion.
District commissioner for Sesheke District of Western Province, Mr. Mihupulo Yumei, headed Zambian delegation and witnessed the mass burial of 8 men who are alleged to be Zambians. He thanked the administration of Zambezi region for procuring coffins of the dead bodies and for keeping bodies in the State mortuary for a long time as since 2011.
“This has been a good work planned and we thank the church to scale down the work”
He also urged Zambian Police Service to investigate and take statistics of Zambian Nationals in the Namibian police cells and hospitals to otherwise eliminate circumstances of not being identified when they are no more.