Zimbabwe Traditional Chief Orders Robert Mugabe's Remains to be Exhumed Immediately

Posted on May 28, 2021
By Sean Musa Carter
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A chief in Zimbabwe has ordered the exhumation and reburial of Robert Mugabe's remains at the national heroes' shrine in Harare after accusing the late leader's wife of breaking local custom by interring him at his rural home in 2019.

Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup that brought Emmerson Mnangagwa to power in November 2017, was buried at his village of Kutama after weeks of dispute with Mnangagwa's government over his final resting place.

A traditional chief in Zvimba district, which includes Kutama, said he had received a complaint from a Mugabe clan member over the manner of his burial.

After presiding over a village court last Thursday, Chief Zvimba on Monday issued a ruling that found Grace Mugabe guilty of breaking traditional norms by burying her husband in the courtyard of his home.

"I give powers to those who are permitted by law to exhume the late Robert Mugabe's remains from Kutama and rebury them at the National Heroes Acre in Harare," said a copy of the ruling in the local Shona language.

Leo Mugabe, spokesman for the Mugabe family, immediately rejected the ruling.

"He (chief) has no jurisdiction over Kutama. And even if the correct chief had made that ruling we would have appealed to the court," Leo Mugabe told Reuters.

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