The High Court will today rule on the urgent chamber application by the late Michelle “Nloana”Amu-li’s mother to nullify a burial order issued last week.
Moana’s mother, Yolanda Kuvaoga, sought to stop the deceased’s father, Ishmael Amuli, from proceeding with burial at Warren Hills in line with his Islamic belief.
Had it not been for the court action, burial would have proceeded on Friday. Under the Islamic way, women are not allowed during the burial process.
Amuli and the Registrar of Births and Deaths are cited as respondents, while Kuvaoga is also seeking to have Zororo Cemetery, on the outskirts of Harare along Seke Road, as the burial place.
Justice Pisirai Kwenda will hear oral arguments from the parties. According to court papers, Kuvaoga argues that Amuli was being dishonest with regards to Moana’s burial. “On 18 November, Kuvaoga and Amuli agreed that the deceased would be buried at Zororo Cemetery in the presence of her relatives, including Kuvaoga, her sisters and other family members.
“On 19 November, Amuli unilaterally obtained a burial order in my absence when at all material times we had always agreed on the funeral arrangements.
“Amuli advised me that the deceased would be buried according to the rites of Islam in my absence, contrary to what we had agreed.
“Amuli stated that I would be excluded from the funeral gathering, which would be unacceptable as I am the mother of the deceased and loved her dearly.”
Kuvaoga is also basing her fight on the fact that Moana was no longer living an “Islamic life”. “More fundamentally, the deceased had remote ties to Islam as evidenced by her lifestyle, which was more secular.
“The deceased was a popular personality with huge following, apparently it would be unfair not only to me, but to other people and relations who knew her personality.”
Meanwhile, Kuvaoga on Friday threatened to undress in protest against taking the body of Moana to a mosque. “Nhasi ndatouya ndakapfeka kataiti kane maresi ‘nda ndakamirira kuti vakangoendesa mwana wangu kuchurch yeMuslim ndaisvikobvisa hembe nekutimwana
anga asisaende kuMuslim,” she said.
“Moana had since stopped following that religion and everyone could see it from her dressing and dubbing. “More so, she died while coming from a night club, taking her body to a Muslim church is violation of the late’s rights as well as fighting me in the name of religion.
“He met me in a pub and by that time I was 15 years and that is the time I got pregnant, and I want to believe he is the first to abuse me; to make me wild, but today he wants to claim to be an ardent follower of Muslim religion.
“Moana died aged 26 and I am 41 years old. If you calculate our age differences, it clearly shows that I gave birth at a tender age,” she said.
Amuli is being represented by Ashiel Mugiya, who told H-Metro on Friday that they would contest the application. ‘We have opposed the matter and it has been postponed to Monday for argument.
The court has invited the parents of the deceased to give oral evidence. “So we are happy that, at least, the court has stopped the mother from removing the body without a valid court order and we believe that it is improper for the mother to seek to bar the father…”
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