A Zimbabwean court has ordered that former president Robert Mugabe be exhumed from his rural village and reburied at the National Heroes’ Acre cemetery in Harare.
The tussle over the resting place of the man who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years is a result of conflict between his supposed wishes and those of the country.
According to his family, Mugabe, who died aged 95 had expressed that he be buried next to the grave of his mother, Bona Mugabe.
Mugabe died in September 2019 and was laid to rest in the courtyard at his rural home in Kutama, 90 kilometres away from Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.
In May 2021, a traditional court faulted Mugabe’s wife, Grace, for disregarding the country’s norms and burying the former president in the village.
Part of the summon from the chief dated April 21, 2021 reads:
“You are facing charges of burying the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe at his homestead,” The court ordered the exhumation of the body and fined Mugabe’s wife five cattle and a goat. However, the family filed an appeal seeking to have the orders of the traditional court quashed.
Mugabe’s nephew, Leo Mugabe, during an interview:
“It’s a ruling against a widow and the widow has nothing to do with the burying of her husband. This judgment is irrelevant if you were to ask me.”
In a ruling delivered on Friday, September 10, the higher court reaffirmed the ruling of the traditional court and directed that Mugabe’s body be exhumed.