[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
LANGUAGES
Somali
French
Swahili
Great Lakes
Hausa
Portuguese
Last Updated: Saturday, 19 July, 2003, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Zimbabwe halts rent-a-corpse scam
Petrol queue in Zimbabwe
Petrol queues can stretch for a mile or more
Two mortuary workers in Zimbabwe have been arrested for allegedly renting out corpses to motorists to enable them to buy fuel.

Most service stations in Zimbabwe give preference in fuel queues to people with burial orders or those taking dead relatives for burial.

The state-owned Herald newspaper reported that the two men were also accused of selling fake burial orders to motorists who then took the corpses to service stations.

Police spokeswoman Cecilia Churu told the Associated Press the two workers were arrested on Thursday after security guards at the hospital in the town of Chitungwiza, 24 kilometres (15 miles) south of Harare, noticed a coffin being returned to the morgue.

The two men are expected to appear in court on charges of violating dead bodies.

The fuel situation is a symptom of the country's economic crisis. Fuel prices have gone up 600% since February.

Mile-long queues are the result, and a further burden on hard-pressed businesses already under pressure by the combination of rampant inflation, an unrealistic exchange rate and government price controls which have worsened shortages instead of easing them.

Zimbabwe has been suffering a serious fuel shortage since November when a barter deal with Libya collapsed.




SEE ALSO:
Even Zimbabwe's dead need fuel
16 Jun 03  |  Africa


RELATED BBCi LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific