President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been implicated in the ongoing attempts to exhume the late former president Robert Mugabe who was buried at his homestead in Kutama village.
According to the Zimbabwe Independent, Mnangagwa chaired a high-level meeting of Mugabe’s clansmen held at the State House on September 11, 2020.
The meeting was also attended by several senior government and ZANU PF officials, as well as representatives of the Zvimba clan.
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It is the same meeting at which the decision to summon Mugabe’s widow, Grace, to a trial at Chief Zvimba’s traditional court was made, according to minutes seen by the Zimbabwe Independent this week.
The government wanted Mugabe to be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare but his immediate family refused.
Mugabe’s family insisted that they were bound to respect his wish to be buried beside his mother at their rural homestead in Zvimba.
Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Defence and War Veterans minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Information and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Local Government and Public Works ministers July Moyo, Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, Chief Zvimba, Chief Beperere, Chief Chidziva, Headman Chisora, Phillip Chiyangwa, Madzima Bhajabha, Nyikadzino Kamuruko and Edward Tome attended the meeting.
The minutes also show that Zvimba clan spokesman Edward Tome pointed out that the late Mugabe was appointed Chief Zvimba soon after his return from Ghana, but requested that someone represent him as he was involved in politics.
Tome went on to say that the family had, upon Mugabe’s death, requested for a mausoleum to be created at the national shrine.
He said after a misunderstanding with the former first lady Grace Mugabe, both members of the Zvimba clan and his uncles from Gutu pulled out. Grace and foreign dignitaries went ahead with the burial.
Tome further told the meeting that the former president should be buried like a chief not like an ordinary person.
Bhajabha then interjected and told the meeting that the Zvimba clan was requesting government assistance to rebury Mugabe.
He went on to say some of the things needed for the reburial include a casket, national flag, transport before they bury the chief and report back to the president.
Bhajabha added that a mausoleum could be erected after the burial and a tombstone in the image of the former leader with a clenched fist facing to the east erected.
Before a ceremony could be conducted the clan requested access to the national shrine to carry out rituals.
The whole process was supposed to be completed before the sacred month of (Mbudzi) which starts on October 15 and ends on December 15 according to Shona culture
According to the minutes, Mnangagwa agreed to the Zvimba clan’s requests but had questions over how the family intended to exhume and rebury the former president without attracting public attention.