The Doves Morgan double burial saga deepened Friday when detectives found the funeral insurer replaced the body of a deceased man with blankets and clothing which were all interred in a mock burial last year.
The fresh details, according to a police memo, were discovered this Friday.
The company now faces fraud for the embarrassing incident, which began early last year when the bereaved Chimwamurombe family discovered later it had in fact been given an “empty”.
Its relative Maxwell Chimwamurombe’s body, as it later turned out, had remained in the mortuary for six months before being “secretly” buried in a pauper’s funeral.
As the scandal unravelled, police late last year police exhumed two bodies, which were buried in one grave as paupers at the Granville Cemetery in Harare, commonly referred to as KuMbudzi.
A follow up visit to Nyanga Friday revealed the coffin buried last year purportedly with the remains of Maxwell in fact was starched with blankets and some clothing.
Read the police memo in part, “The remains were exhumed and taken to Avilla Mission hospital mortuary where they were examined by Doctor Javangwe in the presence of all the interested parties.
“It was discovered that there were no human remains in the coffin instead it was discovered that there was a plastic bag with a blanket, another plastic bag with two tent body bags and another plastic bag with one trousers, a shirt and a white cloth which were all wrapped in a blanket then placed in the coffin.”
READ THE MEMO IN FULL BELOW:
TO: DISPOL NYANGA
MEMO: 02/22 DD 28/01/22
SUBJECT: CASE OF INTEREST; EXHUMATION OF THE REMAINS OF MAXWELL CHIMWAMUROMBE OF CHITAMBARA VILLAGE, CHIEF KATERERE, WARD 2, NYANGA NORTH CONSTITUENCY BY DOVES MORGAN FUNERAL POLICY COMPANY.
This memo serves to inform you the circumstances surrounding the above subject matter.
On the 28th day of January 2022, at around 0600hrs, a team of CID Homicide from Harare led by detective Inspector Tongo visited Ruwangwe police station together with Doves Morgan Funeral Policy officials and requested to be escorted to Chitambara Vilage, Chief Katerere, Nyanga to conduct an exhumation exercise on the remains of Maxwell Chimwamurombe who was buried sometime in March 2021 after drowning in Nyamombe river ref Memo number OM 35/21 Dated 23/10/21.
It is said that sometime in March 2021 Doves Morgan Funeral policy company had a mix-up of corpses which later came to light and the case was referred to CID Homicide who carried out a first exhumation exercise at Glenview cemetery in Harare where they found two corpses buried in the same grave thus they requested for another exhumation exercise to be carried out at Chitambara village, Chief Katerere, Nyanga as part of their investigations.
The exhumation exercise was headed by Doctor Javangwe (Chief Pathologist) in the presence of CID Homicide D/I Tongo (I.C Crime) and D/A/I Makota (Investigating officer), Environmental Health Practitioner Mrs Kunyarimwe Esther, Clapaton Chifodya (Chief Katerere), Headman Dzenga, Ward 2 Councillor Stanford Dzawanda, Joseph Chitambara (Chitambara village head), David Paradzai Samakande (Samakande village head) and the Chimwamurombe family members.
The remains were exhumed and taken to Avilla Mission hospital mortuary where they were examined by Doctor Javangwe in the presence of all the interested parties. It was discovered that there were no human remains in the coffin instead it was discovered that there was a plastic bag with a blanket, another plastic bag with two tent body bags and another plastic bag with one trousers, a shirt and a white cloth which were all wrapped in a blanket then placed in the coffin.
Doctor Javangwe, chief Pathologist announced that his findings will be highlighted in a report which he will submit to CID Homicide whilst CID Homicide I.C Crime D/I Tongo stated that the Doves Morgan Funeral policy company will be charged with two counts of Fraud. The first count is that of defrauding the policy holder who was paying her premiums but failed to offer her the expected services. The second count is that of defrauding Harare City council by paying for one grave then later buried two corpses in the same grave.
The coffin remains and all the items which were inside were labelled and taken to CID Homicide as exhibits.