Burial and Cremation Act
- Commenced on 30 November 1963
- [This is the version of this document as it was at 31 December 2016 to 5 March 2020.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Burial and Cremation Act [Chapter 5:03].
2. InterpretationIn this Act—“body” means the body of a deceased person or a still-born child and includes any part or remains of such body but does not include any part of the body of a deceased person removed from his body during his lifetime in the course of a surgical operation by a registered medical practitioner;“burial" means burial in earth, interment or any other form of sepulture of a body;“burial order” means an order given under this Act authorizing the burial of a body;“cremation authority” means a person authorized to be a cremation authority in terms of section eleven;“crematorium” means any place, site, building or structure used for the burning of bodies and includes everything ancillary or incidental thereto;“informant” means any person who is responsible for giving notice of a death or still-birth in terms of section 11, 20 or 22 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act [Chapter 5:02];“Minister” means the Minister of Home Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;“registered medical practitioner” means a person registered as a medical practitioner in terms of the Health Professions Act [Chapter 27:19];[definition as amended by section 151 of Act 6 of 2000]“registrar” means a person appointed as registrar, deputy registrar or assistant registrar in terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act [Chapter 5:02];“urban area” means any area—(a)under the jurisdiction of a municipal council, town council or local board; or(b)within a town ward of a rural district council; or(c)which is from time to time declared by the Minister, by notice in a statutory instrument, to be an urban area for the purposes of this Act.
Part II – Burial
3. No burial to take place without burial order in certain places
4. Where no burial order is required
5. Burial order issued by registrarA registrar shall, at the request of the informant, furnish to him free of charge a burial order in the following circumstances—
6. Magistrate or Registrar-General of Births and Deaths to issue burial orders in other casesWhere a registrar is not authorized in terms of section five to issue a burial order, the duty to furnish a burial order is imposed on a magistrate or, if a magistrate is not available, the Registrar-General of Births and Deaths, who shall, if satisfied that the post-mortem examination of a body is completed or unnecessary, at the request of the person undertaking the burial, issue a burial order free of charge.
7. Medical practitioner to report certain deaths to magistrate
8. ***[section repealed by section 4 of Act 23 of 2004]
9. Burial by state in certain circumstances
10. ***[section repealed by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001]
Part III – Cremation
12. Bodies to be burned in or at crematoria
13. Cremation authority
14. Crematoria to be approved by Minister
15. Sites of crematoriaNo crematorium shall be situated—
17. Offences and penalties
18. FeesA cremation authority may demand and recover payment of any such charges or fees for the burning of bodies in or at any crematorium provided by it as may be authorized by any tariff approved by the Minister and such charges or fees and any other expenses properly incurred in or in connection with the cremation of a deceased person shall be deemed to be part of the funeral expenses of the deceased.
19. Inquests and nuisancesNothing in this Part shall be deemed to interfere with the jurisdiction of any magistrate under the Inquests Act [Chapter 7:07] or to authorize a cremation authority to create or permit a nuisance.
History of this document
06 March 2020 amendment not yet applied
Amended by Coroner's Office Act, 2019
30 November 1963