BY STYLE CORRESPONDENT
As the name alludes, Citizens Funeral, despite being a new kid on the block, is geared to be a service provider of choice through its wide range of pace-setting services to its growing client base.
With four local branches, namely Mutare, Mutoko, Harare and Ngezi, it has distinguished itself through its top-notch services backed by its fleet of hearses, caskets, dynamic and friendly staff as well as generous grocery giveaways.
According to Edmore Govere, the chief executive officer, the group’s vision is to be a pan-African funeral home that offers cutting-edge services premised on Ubuntu at flexible terms.
Citizens Group has already spread its tentacles to South Africa and Zambia with Mozambique the next targeted market while the company also has an office in Dubai.
In a short time, the group is also eyeing to set-up in Australia and the United Kingdom according to Govere.
“Citizens started in 2011 as Citizens Legal Aid Society and Advisory Trust mainly based on giving legal advice and assistance.
“In 2017 we bought Nuffield Funeral Home which we fully acquired and rebranded it in 2018 into Citizens Funeral Home.
“We are very grateful that in this short period of time we have managed to buy state-of-the-art removal vehicles and grave machinery,” said Govere.
A lawyer by profession, Govere said regardless of policy class, every client is assured of legal advisory services.
“We have to understand that every aspect of life has legal connotations. When the funeral policy holder has some legal issues, an experienced lawyer will be there to assist. If they have a lawyer of their choice, we are readily there following the issue rendering any help that may be needed including paying their legal fees as necessary,” he added.
On a lighter note, Govere said his company prefers its clients to have prolonged lives due to guaranteed legal support so that they continue contributing on their policy dues.
The Dubai office was opened in 2020 and Dibre Chivese is the manager whom he described as a vibrant person.
Dubai, a predominantly Muslim city, has very few funeral homes while it has a big African diaspora community.
Govere said his company realised huge cost and poor service challenges faced by fellow African brothers and sisters as they seek to repatriate bodies of their deceased relatives, hence they set to fill the void in an Afro-centric and affordable manner.
The least policy, the silver one, assures the member immediate legal assistance and grocery worth US$100 during the funeral and three months down the line until the family recovers from the death shock.
The deceased under the plan will also get a flat casket lid and other commensurate benefits including body removal, dressing and hearse.
Citizens are also set to venture into the UK and Australia.
Govere assured customers that his company upholds high professional and ethical standards as it is underwritten by ZB Life Assurance, a company that is regulated by the Insurance and Pensions Commission and also the Funeral Services Association.
Through the Zimbabwe Artists Trust, Citizens has a fully-fledged corporate social responsibility programme that assists local artistes on their funeral issues.
The company has also heeded the government’s call for road rehabilitation as it has a specific part in the capital that it is assisting in patching potholes and looking after the nearby environment, a programme that is set to spread across its branches.
In his personal capacity, Govere is also paying fees for a number of needy schoolchildren at his rural home in Marange.