Bulawayo’s Lady Stanley Cemetery — where senior citizens who have served the city with distinction are buried — is set to be extended as the remaining portion is rocky, the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has announced.
In the latest council report, BCC director of health services Zanele Hwalima said the cemetery needed to be extended as it was fast filling up.
“The Lady Stanley Cemetery was filling up and the remaining portions had rocky substrata which made it extremely difficult to produce graves of sufficient dimensions, hence the request to move the burials of pioneers to a new site within West Park Cemetery,” she said.
The report states that digging of trial graves and provisions of access roads had already been completed.
“We intend to move to the Lady Stanley Cemetery extension where there is grave space for about 500 graves,” said Hwalima in the report.
Councillors said it was important for the two cemeteries — Lady Stanley and West Park — to be demarcated to ensure residents would be aware that the former was reserved for city luminaries.
“There is need to demarcate Lady Stanley Cemetery from West Park Cemetery, so that residents are aware that the Lady Stanley graves are not open to anyone but those that would have served the city with distinction,” said Councillor Phineas Ndlovu.
Town clerk Middleton Nyoni said the two cemeteries were built separately, but had since merged due to lack of space.
“When Lady Stanley Cemetery was established it was located separately from West Park Cemetery,” he said.
“The challenge was that the two cemeteries had now merged and their demarcation was important.”
Luminaries who have been buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery include former Zipra commander Lookout Masuku, former PF Zapu secretary-general and Matabeleland North governor Welshman Mabhena, ex-Zipra senior official Masala Sibanda and former diplomat Isaac Nyathi.