Glen Forest community contemplates legal action against cemetery

18 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Glen Forest community contemplates  legal action against cemetery The current state of Glen Forest Road


Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter

GLEN Forest residents have through their residents’ association indicated contemplating taking legal action against the Glen Memorial Forest Park over the cemetery’s alleged failure to meet its pledge to repair Glen Forest Road.

The Glen Forest community recently expressed its displeasure with the developers of the Glen Forest Memorial Park, which runs the cemetery on the outskirts of Harare, for failure to honour their promise.

Through its lawyers the Glen Forest Residents Association (GFRA) last week demanded that the cemetery owners should fulfil the requirements of their development permit. 

Residents say the road has become a nightmare for them as it has not been repaired as promised by the cemetery owners. 

The road continues to deteriorate further as mourners’ cars, trucks and buses keep damaging the already worn out road as they visit the cemetery to bury their loved ones.

The letter, which is dated November 8, 2022, and by written attorneys firm Warara and Associates Legal Practitioners on behalf of GFRA gave the cemetery owners a 10-day ultimatum to respond and advise the residents how they plan to honour their promise.

“Our instructions are that your failure to comply with the clear provisions of the permit has greatly prejudiced our clients and they are left with no choice but to demand as we hereby do that you promptly advise us of what you will do with this damaged road in the next 10 days. Should you fail to respond, we have instructions to take you to court and compel, both you and Goromonzi Rural District Council, to immediately commence resurfacing of this road in compliance with the conditions in your permit. We hope it will not be necessary to proceed (this way) should you immediately commence resurfacing of the road,” reads part of the letter.

The letter gives background of the development permit issued to the cemetery owners and how the standing agreement has not been honoured. It also outlines the damage and inconvenience Glen Forest Road was causing to residents and the failure by the cemetery to honour its promise. 

It further explains that there is a percentage which is supposed to be contributed by the cemetery owners to widen and surface the road which cannot be accounted for and residents are fed up of empty promises.

“On 8 February 2001 GFMP was issued a permit to develop a burial site in Glen Forest. The permit was issued with conditions in terms of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 29:12. 

It is clear from the permit that you are to develop a cemetery on Subdivision D of Glen Forest Borrowdale Estate. We note also from the permit that you were inter alia obliged to comply with the conditions of the permit in particular to comply with clause 16 of that permit which state that: – ‘The Developer shall widen and resurface the portion of Glen Forest Road from Domboshava Road to the turn off to the cemetery to the satisfaction of the Goromonzi Rural District Council’.

“It is clear that after you received this permit, you proceeded to remove the broken tarred section of the road and left it as a dust road contrary to the conditions set out plainly in the permit that you shall resurface the road. As a result of your failure or neglect to comply with the clear conditions set out in your permit, you allowed the road to deteriorate further and is now virtually impassable especially if it rains. This has been caused by the high volume of traffic on this road caused by mourners who naturally attend burials at your cemetery. Our clients as residents are naturally perturbed by this development and have noted that no effort has been taken by either yourselves or the Goromonzi Rural District Council to remedy the situation. As you are aware, the permit further sets out in Clause 14 that you must contribute two percent into a fund of the money you collect weekly. 

This fund has not been declared its use by the Goromonzi Rural District Council but our clients believe this money should be used to maintain the road as well,” reads the letter.

The residents say the road has become a nightmare for them as the several mourners coming to bury their relatives and loved ones use the gravelled Glen Forest Road hence the continuous damage the road keeps suffering. 

Recently when the rains fell, a number of motorists were stranded when their cars got stuck in the mud for a number of days on Glen Forest Road.

Desperate for a solution to the problem, the GRA recently indicated that it would engaging the police and Goromonzi Rural District Council to seek for permission to barricade the way to the cemetery and stop burials completely until Glen Forest Memorial Park honour their obligation as per the permit development.  

The residents said the owners of Glen Forest Memorial Park have from time to time claimed that they contribute something towards the maintenance of the road to the Goromonzi Rural District Council. 

No comment could be obtained from Glen Forest Memorial Park and the Goromonzi Rural District Council.

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