HIGH Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda this Friday morning dismissed the application by Yolanda Kuvaoga, mother to the late socialite Michelle “Moana” Amuli, to have the existing burial order cancelled.
In delivering his ruling, Justice Kwenda said he found no legal basis for cancelling the burial order.
He added that Michelle Amuli didn’t openly renounce Islam from 2013 when she became an adult, and that her partying lifestyle alone was not enough evidence that she had renounced Moslem values.
“I also observe that this court cannot usurp the powers of the registrar and this application fails to lay a legal basis for the interference of this court with the registrar,” he told a court packed by the deceased’s parents, relatives, friends and journalists.
“The validity of the burial order stands because it was acquired legally applicant failed to lay a legal basis for the replacement of the burial order issued.”
Justice Kwenda said the existing burial order was issued according to section 3 of the administrative justice Act and as such it is valid. As reported by the Zimbabwe Voice yesterday, the deceased’s biological father Ishmael Amuli gets the burial rights.
“In this particular case the applicant hasn’t set out any points for review. She chose to apply an application for an interdict. There is no evidence that the applicant will be excluded from the burial process,” Justice Kwenda ruled this Friday morning.
He proceeded to give a rundown of the arguments presented by Kuvaoga and her former husband Ishmael Amuli, the biological father of the deceased.
“I’ll summarize their evidence as follows: Applicant (Moana’s mother) said Amuli’s beliefs were not supposed to apply over their child’s burial because he didn’t pay roora (lobola, bride price) and the observance of Islam would not allow mourners to drink beer and eat pork at the burial.
“She also said her daughter was living a circular life and the people she would party and drink with had to be present at the funeral.
“She further said after collecting the burial order Amuli changed and said the body would now spend the night at the mosque which was In contrary of what they had agreed on and that was reason for filing the application.
“She said he wants to bury her daughter in a special section for Muslims and that would result in her being denied access to the grave. She said the body was burnt beyond recognition and there was no need to wash it.”
Justice Kwenda said the respondent (Ishmael Amuli) said the applicant’s fears are ill-conceived because the applicant’s relatives can partake in the dressing and washing of the body.
No one will be excluded but the body doesn’t lie in state, said the judge
“The relief sought could have been worded in a different way but she made it clear she doesn’t want Muslim religion to be applied in the burial of deceased because it would neglect and discriminate the deceased’s friends while respondent said she (Kuvaoga) was one who was being discriminatory against Muslim religion,” said Justice Kwenda. – Zimbabwe Voice ■