A close relative of the late Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who was toppled in a defacto military coup in 2017, says he did not own a specter (tsvimbo) for ruling the nation for almost four decades.
Leo Mugabe, the family spokesperson, said his uncle was not buried with a so-called specter, full of spiritual power to govern, which he was allegedly given by some traditional healers.
In an interview, Mugabe said, “No, that’s all rumors, there’s nothing like that. No, there's nothing like that. These are people who are just speculating, you know that he had (tsvimbo). But who would have given it to him.”
Pressed to explain why some people claim that Mugabe had spiritual power, obtained from the specter, for ruling the nation, Mugabe said it was impossible for him to own such a thing.
“He didn’t have it. If he had been given a tsvimbo and they know who gave it to him, they must go and source another tsvimbo from the same person … This man was just a Roman Catholic, was a Christian. He did not believe in all this tsvimbos and things (like that) … And they all know it. Even the government, they know it.”
He said people making such wild claims are yearning for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s attention.
“I think they are people who are trying to be relevant … those who are bringing up the tsvimbo issue. I understand its been brought up in some political circles and they actually believe it exists. Then there is the side of the chief who are trying to be relevant, to be seen, to say to Mnangagwa, we are not bitter with you for removing our relative (Mugabe from office), and therefore to show you that we are not bitter, we are prepared to exhume him and rebury him at Heroes Acre. So they are being, you know, this chief is trying to be relevant in the eyes of the president. And that’s it.”
Chief Zvimba, who could not be reached for comment as he was not responding to calls on his mobile phone, recently fined Mrs. Grace Mugabe five cattle and a goat for laying to rest the late president at his rural homestead in Kutama.
Chief Zvimba claims that Mrs. Mugabe violated some cultural norms when she spearheaded his burial at the homestead.
The chief has granted government permission to exhume his remains and rebury them at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
The Mugabe family is vowing to defy the chief’s orders saying they will take him to the highest court in the land to stop the exhumation of the late president’s remains.
Government Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, has not yet responded to questions sent to her about the Mugabe reburial saga.
In 2018, Information Secretary, Nick Mangwana, wrote a letter to the Mugabe family indicating that the government was not objecting to his burial in Zvimba communal lands, Mashonaland West province.