The late dictator Robert Mugabe’s children have successfully appealed in the High Court to have a case in which they are challenging the exhumation of their father’s remains, initially thrown out by a Chinhoyi magistrate, to be heard in the Mashonaland West provincial capital.
Two High Court judges Justice Fatima Chakapamambo Maxwell and Justice Amy Tsanga overruled local magistrate Ruth Moyo’s judgment in which she okayed Chief Zvimba’s order for designated agents to exhume and rebury the late president’s remains at the National Heroes Acre.
Moyo ruled that Mugabe’s children – Bona Mutsahuni Mugabe (executor of the estate of late Robert Mugabe), Bellarmine Chatunga Mugabe and Tinotenda Robert Mugabe – had no authority to challenge Chief Zvimba or Stanley Wurayayi Mhondoro’s order as their mother, Grace Mugabe, was the only one cited in the village court ruling.
Court documents in possession of VOA Zimbabwe Service indicate that the three children argued in the High Court that the chief’s order induced a sense of shock and violated some provisions of Zimbabwe’s traditional and modern laws.
In granting the order, Maxwell ruled that the appeal may succeed in the magistrates’ courts.
“The appeal be and hereby allowed with costs. The matter be and is hereby remitted back to Chinhoyi magistrate court for continuation of the hearing,” said Maxwell and Tsanga agreed.
Chief Zvimba ordered Mrs. Mugabe to facilitate the exhumation of her husband’s remains from the family homestead in Zvimba communal lands, collect various personal articles of the late president from state residences in Harare and other places and ensure there are at the deceased’s homestead in Kutama village and pay five heifers and a goat for cleansing Zimbabwe.
The three children argued in the High Court that Chief Zvimba has nothing to do with the remains of their father, his estate and that fines imposed on their mother was too harsh and should be reversed.
It remains unclear that the Messenger of Court carried out the order as stipulated in the village court. Mugabe’s nephew, Leo Mugabe, who is the family spokesperson, was unavailable for comment.
Chief Zvimba was also unavailable for comment as he was not responding to calls on his mobile phone.