RURAL communities have been urged to start burial societies as the cost of maintaining funeral insurance cover soars.
This call was made by Ruzai Muchaurawa, the Ward 25 Councillor in the Zvimba Rural District Council in Mashonaland West province.
Cllr Ruzai made the call during the official launch of the Kubatana Burial Society at Royden Farm in Zvimba recently.
“The majority of us cannot afford funeral insurance policies. It is, therefore, wise for us to form and join such burial societies as the one that we are unveiling today. The benefits for being a member of such a society are too many to count,” Cllr Muchaurawa said.
Burial societies are community-funded groups whose members pay a monthly subscription, or premium, in exchange for funeral insurance when a loved one dies.
In addition to insurance, members of the society help each other with such donations as food and coffins when someone in the community dies.
Historically in Zimbabwe, burial societies are most active in urban centres, particularly in high-density suburbs.
Angela Musekiwa, the president of the Kubatana Burial Society said the formation of the society will go a long way in lifting the burden that bereaved families often find themselves carrying.
“We have had instances in which families failed to buy food or even coffins for their dear departed. Burial societies like ours comes in handy when it comes to such scenarios,” Musekiwa said.
Cllr Muchaurawa pledged to work closely with the burial society.
“In the past, we have had problems when families lose their members. Without funeral insurance cover, most of the families will naturally turn to such community leaders as councillors for help. It is not the mandate of councilllors to bury members of the community,” Cllr Muchaurawa said.
Burial societies have surged in popularity as corporate options have become increasingly unaffordable.