UK Responds To Zimbabwe’s Bid To Repatriate Nehanda’s Skull

The United Kingdom (UK) has responded to Zimbabwe’s bid to repatriate the skull of Mbuya Charwe, the spirit medium of Mbuya Nehanda, first Chimurenga heroine.

During the unveiling of Nehanda’s statue erected in Harare on Tuesday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that Zimbabwe had engaged the UK over the repatriation of Nehanda’s skull. He said:

_We shall, however, continue to discuss to bring back her skull which was taken to the United Kingdom along others._


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Other skulls that are reportedly in the UK’s museums where they are displayed as trophies of war belong to Sekuru Kaguvi, Chingaira Makoni, Chinengundu, Mashayamombe, Mapondera, Mashonganyika and Chitekedza Chiwashira.

The Herald contacted the UK Embassy in Harare on the matter and official who prefers anonymity for professional reasons said there are some negotiations currently underway. The official said:

_The UK welcomes ongoing conversations between the museum and the Government of Zimbabwe on the issue of repatriation of remains of Zimbabwean origin._

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe also underscored the importance of repatriating the head that was stolen by the British colonial settlers over a century ago to the country. He said:

_Sadly, the remains of Mbuya Nehanda are yet to be repatriated so that proper burial can be accorded in line with our cultural norms and values._

_However, I am happy to advise that our efforts to ensure that the remains are repatriated to the country are in progress._

Zimbabwe has in the past engaged the UK in an endeavour to repatriate Nehanda’s skull but efforts were futile.

The erection of Nehanda’s statue court varying opinion, some observers applauded the government for “reclamation of Zimbabwe revolutionary history” while some argue that the government’s priorities are misplaced.

  1. PICTURES: Mbuya Nehanda Statue To Be Unveiled By Mnangagwa
  2. Mnangagwa Goes After Mbuya Nehanda’s Skull
  3. Mnangagwa Unveils Mbuya Nehanda Statue {Pictures}
  4. WATCH: The Story Of Nehanda Official Trailer

More: Pindula News; The Herald

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One Comment on “UK Responds To Zimbabwe’s Bid To Repatriate Nehanda’s Skull

  1. Those who say government’s priorities are misplaced ,they are now more important than history itself.There are some selfish individuals who want to write history in their names instead of writing their names in history.Nehanda’s statue ,bringing back the remains of all first Chimurenga heroes sacredly are long overdue national priority issues .However there may be different views on the how arguments but we applaud that legacy is being restored with genuine intensions.

    Here in Zimbabwe HANDA project led by its founding Director Ottoman Magaya is leading the advocacy for the Repatriation through cultural gatherings and have managed to regroup families of the slain heroes and established a Repatriation committee which HANDA has created to lead in lobbying government and backing government’s efforts to engage Britain over the issue.The Repatriation Committee is led by Chief Makoni,Tobias Kaguvi Gumboreshumba,Umlugulu,Weston Mandere and HANDA itself among others.
    Currently the group is planning to hold a national day to declare their funerals ,a to out the nation into a correct mourning mood and call for an expeditious Repatriation up to the time such remains touch the soil of Zimbabwe on Robert Mugabe International Airport,ready for burials.This national day is proposed in line with our culture of Mhere/Chito and His Excellency President Mnangagwa is expected to preside the event that HANDA and the Repatriation advocacy Committee have resolved to be held in Chibuku Stadium given it’s cultural relevance to our spiritual cultural icon Sekuru Chaminuka of Dungwiza.
    Ministry of local government through Chitungwiza Municipality has already helped the organisers of the event (HANDA Research Institute Project)to secure the venue .

    Currently the organisers are waiting for the Ministry of Home Affairs to finalize how such unique state occasion can be planned by Government since HANDA works under the auspices of the Ministry .HANDA project looks forward for the success of the day and hope that government (Home Affairs Ministry)side won’t take long to discuss and finalize the matter since His Excellency is anti bureaucracy ,He is for ease of doing all kinds of businesses.This is sacred cultural business that has got a national bearing on our historical landscape.

    Should the event come to pass as planned ,all roads ,provinces will come to meet face to face with refatives(descendants), clans of the beheaded heroes in Chibuku Stadium where His Excellency’s will be the Guest of Honour.According to HANDA it does not make much sense to have 16 days of activism against Domestic violence but we find it difficult to hold even 200days of mourning of such heroes till up to the day their heads will come home for final heroic burial and resting of their souls and relatives who have been burdened since 1890s.We know detractors working with the enemies of the revolution would not want such an event to happen because it exposes colonial violence against women and men warriors.
    HANDA project is optimistic that the Home Affairs Ministry is finalizing it’s looking into the proposed event as government because Mr Nhepera and Dr Mahachi have always been positive .We last discussed theChibuku stadium issue towards Christmas last year after Chief Rwizi and the Seke community accepted to host the event following all stakeholder meetings held in Seke.

    Currently a meeting with the Chief’s Council is on the cards with government facilitating for Chief’s to get a full brief on the advocacy .

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UK Responds To Zimbabwe’s Bid To Repatriate Nehanda’s Skull