Police in Zimbabwe have warned people to desist from the practice of parading coffins in public places.
The common practice involves a colourful funeral procession in which the often rowdy and drunk mourners parade the coffin before burial. The practice is prevalent at the funerals of touts, sex workers and well-known criminals, where mourners celebrate and mimic the work the deceased used engage in.
However, the police has said the practice needs to stop as “abuse of the dead”. According to the Herald, police spokesperson Charity Charamba warned the public, “against the abuse of the deceased persons, especially the parading of coffins in public places such as street corners, market places, commuter ranks and other places,”
“This type of behaviour should stop forthwith. It is uncultured and lawless to move around with coffins while blocking traffic and shouting all sorts of obscenities. This conduct goes against the society’s cultural norms and values,” she said.
“Anyone caught while abusing a dead body will be dealt with in terms of the country’s laws,” Charamba said.
In 2013, at a funeral of procession of well-known robber Boris Mushonga, the deceased’s body fell-out coffin in a drama-filled parade in Harare’s Mbare township.
Last year, at the funeral of Memory Bhebhe, a sex worker in Bulawayo, her colleagues reportedly gave her a “heroic sendoff” by parading her body at two popular night clubs, dancing and stripping in front of the hearse.