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ZAPU Europe Province to launch its burial society at its AGM

24 Apr 2013 at 03:36hrs | Views
On the 4th May 2013 ZAPU will be holding its Annual General Meeting and in that meeting it is set to launch its unique service aimed at helping its members during the difficult time of bereavement. I had a chance of chatting with man (Zenzele Mazibuko) behind this popular and yet very helpful scheme. Many families in the diaspora understand and know the difficulties encountered when a loved one passes without the necessary financial preparations, some have been buried in foreign lands like paupers. ZAPU as an organised party with huge following in the UK seems to have harnessed that potential which their members present and turn it into viable and appropriate support for its membership. The help offered will not only be financial but it will also be on human level and emotional support.

Thulani: Mr Mazibuko I understand that you are the brains behind the creation of ZAPU Burial Society which is going to be launched at ZAPU Europe's AGM on the 4th May 2013; can you tell us what inspired you and your colleagues to come up with such a scheme?

Zenzele: Death does not have boundary, political affiliation, race, colour or any status position. When my sister passed away in November 2011, here in the UK, England that was the wakeup call for me to face reality. Our relatives back home, her children expected their mother to be brought home so that they can pay their last respects. Where do I start? People and friends in this country they have got their own problems of working day and night to pay bills in this expensive country. I had never been at the Zimbabwean Embassy before, this time I was forced to go and face my political enemies at the embassy about the procedure of repatriation of my sister's body to Zimbabwe. When I got there the girls at the embassy where helpful, but whoa! It was not going to be easy because of the documentation which was needed for a body to be cleared at Harare Airport.

Fortunately, I discovered that my sister had a policy taken out a year before she died; I think she knew that her cancer was closing in, what a clever girl she was. I managed to pay all the expenses and took to her children money more than £65, 000, make your own adding up how much was the value of the policy. She had written a will and lodged it with an undertaker in South London and told them to only give it to me after she is gone. From that day I told myself that I will have to help my party members, if they reject the idea, it will be at their own peril. When I got to the undertaker I was shown three bodies of Zimbabweans without anyone coming forward to claim them as family members, no identification, but they were Zimbabweans.

Only one had an identification coming from Masvingo, just a small suitcase, with a few clothing in it. Fortunately there was a telephone number for a Zimbabwean mobile phone, I helped the undertaker to phone the number and receiver confirmed as a brother of the person, they had no idea their relative had passed away more than a month. I promised them that I would come with his suitcase and they met me in Harare en-route to Bulawayo taking my Sister's remains. The blessings I received from that family, even now they take me as a blood brother, and they phone me.

Thulani: Death knows no colour, no political affiliation, who is going to be allowed to be a member of the burial society; does one have to be a ZAPU member in order to be allowed to be a member of the Burial Society?

Zenzele: To answer your second question, this burial society is a product of Zapu, it's like our own Zapu identity, part of our policy. The Society will cover only Zapu members. Anyone who wants to join must be a member of ZAPU first and be a family. This protection is for ZAPU members, their  families and their  dependants.

Thulani: Mr Mazibuko it seems the Burial's Unique selling proposition/point is the envisaged underwriting by an insurance company which will mean, low premium instalments, but huge benefits for members, can you please explain  how will this work in practice?

Zenzele: Third point, as an example, suppose an insurance company pays out £50 000 for one of our members who had passed away. Let's say the percentage i.e., £10 000 covers all funeral expenses including repatriation of the body, £30 000 goes to the family members and £10 000 is reinvested by Zapu burial society. This is the amount which will be used to pay for dependants.

Thulani: Do you have anything else you would like to say about the society to the public?

Zenzele: Answering your last question, in the long run when we see that we have accumulated enough Capital to invest, we lease one or two factories in Zimbabwe which will employ only Zapu members. At the same time help to give employment Zapu members who have failed to get political asylum status abroad and deputed to Zim. And for those members who decide to go back home.

Zenzele Mazibuko is a provincial executive member of ZAPU Europe, he holds its Economic and Development Portfolio. 

Source - Thulani Nkala
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