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Zimbabwe Court Dismisses Mugabe Family's Appeal Against Exhumation, Reburial of Former President's Remains in Harare

FILE: unior Shuvai Gumbochuma, sister of Zimbabwe’s former first lady Grace Mugabe, speaks behind a photo of the late president Robert Mugabe, at his burial in Zvimba, Zimbabwe, Sept. 28, 2019. (C. Mavhunga/VOA)

A Zimbabwean magistrate has dismissed an application by the family of the late former president Robert Mugabe seeking to reverse Chef Zvimba’s ruling that his remains should be exhumed from the family homestead and reburied at the National Heroes Acre.

Magistrate Ruth Moyo dismissed the application filed by Bona Mugabe, Tinotenda Robert Jnr and Bellaimine Mugabe saying they have nothing to do with the chief’s ruling as the person cited in the case is their mother, former First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Their attorney, Fungai Chinwamurombe, said he would advise the family about the way forward with indications that the matter will eventually be taken to the Supreme Court.

The Mugabes had asked Chinhoyi courts to make a judicial review of Chief Zvimba’s ruling, compelling Mrs. Mugabe 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 two goats 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.

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