Tragic Mistake: Family buries wrong body in distressing mortuary mix up


FAMILIES of two people who were killed in Gweru’s Mkoba suburb earlier this month experienced a distressing mix-up in the bodies of the victims, resulting in one family burying the wrong body.

Courage Sibanda (19) from Ngamo area in Gweru was attacked and killed on 4 December in Mkoba 14, while Takudzwa Chipadza (19) was killed later that same day by a gang with whom they had a misunderstanding.

The bodies were taken to Gweru Provincial Hospital mortuary for preservation. However, when the respective families went to collect the bodies, a mix-up occurred.

Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko, Midlands Police Spokesperson, confirmed the incident, saying: “On December 6th, Chipadza’s relatives went to the hospital where they mistakenly collected the body of the late Sibanda instead of their son’s body.”

Unaware of the mistake, the Chipadza family proceeded to Mutasa Cemetery in Gweru, where they unknowingly buried Sibanda’s body. Simultaneously, the Sibanda family went to the same mortuary and collected the body of Chipadza.

“It was during body viewing the following day when the father of the deceased discovered that it was not his son,” explained Inspector Mahoko.

Upon discovering the error, both families informed the relevant authorities. They reached an agreement that Sibanda’s body, which had already been buried, should be exhumed for reburial. The exhumation took place, and the burials were conducted on December 15, 2023, in Somabhula rural homestead and Mutasa Cemetery, respectively.

Inspector Mahoko urged families to exercise proper due diligence when identifying the bodies of their loved ones.

“As police, we encourage bereaved families to take their time in identifying their deceased relatives and be satisfied before burial to avoid such occurrences,” he said.

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