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Bid To Stop Ex-President Robert Mugabe's Exhumation, Reburial Flops


BY JAMES MUONWA

PROVINCIAL magistrate Ruth Moyo has dismissed an application by the late former president Robert Mugabe's family to nullify an order by a traditional court to have his remains exhumed and interred at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

The ex-president was buried at his Kutama village homestead, a place which traditional leaders argue violates customs observed in the area.

In her brief ruling at the new Chinhoyi Court Complex this Friday, Moyo said Bona Mugabe, Tinotenda Robert Jnr and Bellarmine Mugabe had no business in attempting to reverse the ruling by the traditional court as they were not cited as respondents in the first instance.

She noted the person cited in the case was their mother, former First Lady Grace Mugabe.

The family had approached Chinhoyi courts to make a judicial review of the ruling by Chief Zvimba (Stanley Urayayi Mhondoro) and other chiefs from the area, compelling the ex-First Lady to exhume her husband’s remains and rebury them at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

The appeal, as cited by Fungai Chimwamurombe, was premised on the argument that there was "absence of jurisdiction, impropriety of relief granted, irregular service of summons and that the judgement was biased.”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government was pushing for Mugabe to be laid to rest at a special mausoleum at the National Heroes’ Acre, but his family refused, saying he wanted to be buried near the grave of his late mother, Bona.

The chief fined Grace five cattle and a goat for burying the former president at his homestead instead of the family cemetery in Kutama village.

The family lawyer reportedly said he would advise on the way forward with indications the matter could spill to the Supreme Court.


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