Australia: Widow of Adelaide contractor Andrew Myama in bureaucratic battle to return body to Zimbabwe

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AUSTRALIA: BEFORE he left for work last Tuesday, Andrew Myama had already laid out a fresh uniform, ready for Wednesday’s shift.

The night before the 35-year-old green thumb had brought home several statues that he planned to paint and place in the backyard of the Plympton home he shared with wife Caroline and eight-month-old daughter, Mia.

But sadly, Myama never made it home on June 13 to finish his statue project or put on his work uniform again.

The doting dad was killed when he was run over by a crane at a construction site at the northern entrance to Shepherds Hill Rd, St Marys about 9.40pm.

Myama, who is known to his friends and family as Andy, was a contractor for York Civil and died at the scene. The incident is being investigated by SafeWork SA.

And while Caroline Matanhire-Myama is mourning the loss of her husband, she is now facing a bureaucratic battle to return her husband’s body to Zimbabwe for burial.

Myama, an Australian citizen, was born in Harare, and his family desperately wants to repatriate him in line with Zimbabwean culture.

However, family spokesman David Shepherd Mutusva says York Civil reneged on an offer to fund the repatriation on Tuesday morning and the family cannot afford to pay for it.

Mutusva said the family was calling on the State Government to help finance the return of Myama’s body to Zimbabwe, costing about $75,000.

Mrs Matanhire-Myama, a full-time student, said it was important that her husband, who moved to Australia in 2009, be returned to his birthplace for burial.

“We used to talk about life and … his wish was ‘if I was to die, I want to be buried at home’,” she told The Advertiser.

“So he left that duty on me. He wanted to go home.”

The couple met in mid-2015 and were married a year later.

“He was hardworking,” Mrs Matanhire-Myama said.

“He looked after me and his daughter, Mia. He put us first. He had left for work because he was working for us, for his family, and he was meant to come home.”

York Civil issued a statement saying the company had offered support to the family.

“As we had promised, the company voluntarily paid $15,000 on Friday June 16 into an account for Caroline for which we understood would cover the funeral arrangements for Andy,” the statement read.

 

“We also helped put the family in touch with insurers who provide further cover for related expenses.”

Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said: “We understand the importance of providing assistance that is appropriate and addresses both cultural sensitivities as well as the wishes of Mr Myama’s next of kin and we stand ready to assist.”

Opposition spokesman David Pisoni urged the government to help the family.

“They’ve got to show compassion — we just can’t wait for a bureaucratic process,” he said.-The Advertiser

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