Heather Charema in Chegutu
Chegutu District Hospital has, with immediate effect, suspended all mortuary services to pave way for renovations of the hospital mortuary.

The institution’s authorities had been criticised by residents and patients for allegedly neglecting the mortuary that had been dysfunctional for more than 10 months with patients reportedly sharing hospital wards with corpses until collection time by funeral homes.

The mortuary, which capacitates 16 bodies at a time, had not been fully functional due to a breakdown of the refrigeration system.

At least six bodies had not been claimed for more than three years leaving the mortuary with room for only two more bodies.

In a statement, Chegutu District medical officer Dr Tonderai Nhende said members of the public were expected to collect their relative’s bodies as soon as possible.

“As Chegutu District Hospital Health executive, we would like to notify you that the hospital’s mortuary is undergoing renovations,” he said.

“As a result we are not taking any body to the mortuary. To that effect we would really appreciate it if we could collect the bodies of our loved ones as soon as we receive the news of their death since we do not have anywhere to store the bodies, we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

In an interview with The Herald, Dr Nhende said all bodies should be referred to Kadoma General Hospital and other funeral services.