HARARE – Makumbe Mission Hospital mortuary, the largest medical institution in Goromonzi district, Mashonaland East province, has a carrying capacity for just three bodies despite being established to serve half a million people, a group of visiting legislators have been told.

Goromonzi district health services administrator Evelyne Runodada told members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care that there is a serious crisis on how to accommodate bodies every time the Domboshava health facility is presented with more than its capacity.

“We double our bodies per tray. And at times we put them down on the floor and we communicate with the relatives our situation and ask them to quickly come and take their body,” she said.

“For those bodies brought in by police, some of them take time without being collected and that poses a challenge. Some of them will never be collected and going through the process of pauper’s burial is a lengthy process. At times we ask the police to take the body to Parirenyatwa in Harare,” she said.

The entire Goromonzi district only has one dilapidated public mortuary, Runodada  told the lawmakers.

“So we don’t have anywhere else to refer our bodies. We end up taking them for the sake of humanity,” she said.

Runodada said the government is aware of the need for a new and bigger mortuary in the district.

“We have been trying to lobby for funds to construct a new mortuary. We would like it to be a 12 bodied mortuary. So we have been applying for PSIP funds. We are still submitting our request for a mortuary,” she said.