The Mzuzu City Council has obtained a court injunction against members of the Mzuzu Muslim Minority Association barring them from further burying the dead in residential areas and other areas aside from designated public and private cemeteries.
Residents lodged a complaint to the Council querying the opening a cemetery on land designated for Residences and Institutions.
The internment occurred despite the fact that the Council had twice rejected the Association’s application to partition part of its plot into a cemetery describing the Association’s proposal as not ‘compatible’.
The Council obtained the court order after the Association, which is composed of Asians, defied the council’s order to exhume the body of one of the Asians who was buried on 15th July 2012 at Area 4 in Mzuzu.
The Council seven day ultimatum expired on 24th July 2012.
Mzuzu Town Planning committee Chairperson Jando Nkhwazi confirmed the developments to Nyasa Times in an exclusive interview saying according to regulations and city bye laws Area 4 is not supposed to have a graveyard.
Nkhwazi further said the Association was offered some land at Zolozolo for use as its burial site but the grouping rejected the land citing lack of security.
“In our religion a burial site is sacred and we are obliged to visit the graves of our loved ones twice per month. The place in Zolozolo is not secured and who will provide security so that the graves are not desecrated,” said a member of the group.
But Nkhwazi said the Asians rejected the land in Zolozolo because they did not want to be buried next to blacks.