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Mugabe Children Challenge Exhumation, Reburial Order of Late Father’s Remains

President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace, daughter Bona and other family members.
President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace, daughter Bona and other family members.

Three children of the late former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe have filed a court application challenging a traditional chief’s order for the body to be exhumed and reburied at the National Heroes Acre.

According to the court documents, Bona Mutsahuni Mugabe (Executor of the Estate of late Robert Mugabe), Bellarmine Chatunga Mugabe and Tinotenda Robert Mugabe argue that Chief Zvimba, whose real name is Stanley Wurayayi Mhondoro, acted outside his jurisdiction when he approached the village court to summon their mother, former First Lady Grace Mugabe, to answer to accusations that she broke with tradition when she buried her late husband.

Fungai Chimwemurombe, the lawyer representing the three children, confirmed that he has filed a Notice of Appeal at the Chinhoyi Magistrates’ Court and the case will be heard on June 29, 2021.

"They disagree with Chief Zvimba’s judgment and they feel the traditional court should not have heard the case in the first place because the case is outside its jurisdiction and interestingly government was involved in Mugabe's burial in Zvimba," said Chimwemurombe

Chimwemurombe said the court case indicates that the three children are not happy about Chief Zvimba’s actions.

"Since the Mugabe family is not happy with the outcome of the lower court we are looking at what the law states. The case that the magistrate will be looking at is whether it was proper for the traditional court to have heard the case. For now, we can't say more since the case is now before the courts," said Chimwemurombe.

Mrs. Mugabe did not attend the village court hearing, which ruled in Chief Zvimba's favor, and ordered Mrs. Mugabe to exhume and rebury her late husband's remains at Heroes Acre, and also pay a fine of five cows and two goats as punishment for burying Mugabe at his homestead in Kutama, Zvimba.

Reached for comment about the Notice of appeal, a person who answered Chief Zvimba's mobile phone, told VOA Studio 7 that Chief Zvimba won’t comment since he was the presiding officer at the traditional court.

"You can't ask the chief such questions. The chief just presided over a case go and ask the appellant," the unnamed person who answered the phone, said.