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Former Zimbabwe First Lady Grace Mugabe Set to Appeal Today Against Chief's Order to Exhume, Rebury Mugabe Remains in Harare


FILE: Former first lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe, pays her last respects during a state funeral of her husband and the country's longtime ruler Robert Mugabe, at the national sports stadium in Harare, Sept. 14, 2019.

A Zimbabwean court is expected today to hear an appeal by former First Lady, Grace Mugabe, against a chief’s ruling that she violated traditional norms by laying to rest former President Robert Mugabe at the family homestead in Zvimba communal lands.

Mrs. Mugabe’s attorney, Fungai Chimwamurombe, has asked Chinhoyi courts to make a judicial review of Chief Zvimba’s ruling, compelling her to exhume her husband’s remains and rebury them at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

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

The Zimbabwean government wanted 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 Mrs. Mugabe five cattle and a goat for burying the former president at his homestead instead of the family cemetery in Kutama village.

The Mugabe family rejected the village court order with the late president’s nephew, Leo Mugabe, saying they will fight the case to the bitter end.

In an interview recently, Leo Mugabe said, “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, because in any case, Chief Zvimba does not preside over cases here.”

Mrs. Mugabe and other family members and Chief Zvimba were unreachable on their mobile phones.

A VOA Correspondent contributed to this article

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