DECEASED’S FAMILY DEMANDS REPATRIATION
THE family of a Nick’s Motors driver who died on duty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) yesterday held a second protest against delays in the repatriation of their relative‘s remains.
Itai Mlambo (42) succumbed to malaria, according to a post-mortem and still has his remains lying in a foreign mortuary to date.
According to family spokesperson and younger brother to the deceased, Sydney Mlambo, the way the company was handling the issue was a cause for concern.
“We are now worried sick. It’s been 10 days of no action from Nick’s Motors management who are giving us different excuses every day.
“The family representative, who was standing in for us in Kinshasa, was instructed to come back immediately, leaving the body behind.
“We felt that was improper and that the company was trying to delay bringing the remains by another week maybe so as to bring it into the country through illicit means,” said Mlambo.
He said the family was not happy with the drama surrounding the delay.
“We just want to give my brother a proper burial and the company has no right to continue holding us to ransom because we are already bereaved.
“The elders today (yesterday) went to the company’s office to find out why there were further delays and were told that some papers from the Zimbabwean embassy were awaiting processing,” he said.
He said they had so far only received US$500 from Nick’s Motors towards the funeral.
Contacted for comment, Nick’s Motors managing director Simone Mesham was not entertaining calls even after dismissing the family around 1pm.
However, in a previous interview, the company said it was still processing papers for Itai’s body to be repatriated.
Last week the family had to be dispersed by police after it was alleged that the company had offered Itai’s widow and four children compensation to allow his remains to be cremated in DRC.
The Mlambos have threatened further action if their relative’s remains are not brought back in time for a proper burial.
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