The family of the late former Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe, said the national hero was afraid that some top politicians would harvest his body parts for rituals.
Speaking to City Press from the Mugabe homestead at Kutama Village in Zvimba, Mugabe family spokesperson, Leo Mugabe said:
You know some people have an inclination for rituals. We are afraid that some people are after his body parts or even his whole body and they want to use that for rituals.
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… the casket is tamper-proof and there is nothing unusual about that because we are trying to follow his last wishes which he confided to his wife before he passed on; he intimated that there were people who wanted to use his body for rituals.
A family member who spoke to the publication revealed that Mugabe’s widow, Grace, was told that the mausoleum that was being built at the National Heroes Acre would not be for Mugabe only. Said the unnamed family member:
Someone within the family told Grace that the mausoleum would not be for Mugabe only but would house graves of other Zimbabwean presidents.
She was expressly against this and that was what pushed her to opt for the courtyard burial. She had also clashed with chiefs and elders from Mugabe’s home about where his body should be buried.
Mugabe was finally buried on Saturday in Zvimba after his family rejected a government offer to have the remains buried in a mausoleum at the national shrine.
Pedzisai Ruhanya, of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, believes that Grace Mugabe may be persecuted for embarrassing the government. He said:
Let the burial proceed and get done with and observe Zanu-PF vengeance thereafter. We know they won’t take it lying down. They feel disrespected by the Mugabe family.