Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana has distanced the government from ongoing efforts to exhume the remains of the late President Robert Mugabe from his rural home in Zvimba for reburial at the National Heroes Acre.
Mangwana said the government was not amused by attempts by family representatives and critics to drag President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration into the matter. Said Mangwana:
It is a very local matter, I am not sure the chief has jurisdiction on who should be buried at the Heroes Acre or not which is a piece of land outside his dominion.
But what I can tell you (please take it as official) is that the government of Zimbabwe has no interest in this matter at all and we are just observing this local matter with annoyance.
This comes after Chief Zvimba summoned Mugabe’s widow, Grace for trial over the latter’s alleged violations of custom to bury her husband in a family courtyard.
The chief fined Grace five beasts and two goats after finding her guilty, in absentia, for the offence.
The late former President’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, among other former Mugabe allies, say Mnangagwa was keen to secure a traditional, mysterious but powerful “sceptre” believed to have been buried with Mugabe.
Following Mugabe’s death in September 2019, the government made spirited efforts to have his remains interred at the national shrine where a mausoleum was being built in his honour.