A Zimbabwean court, on Friday upheld a traditional court’s ruling that the body of former President Robert Mugabe must be exhumed and reburied at the national heroes’ shrine in the capital city.
In May, traditional chief Zvimba from Mugabe’s rural Zvimba area ordered that his remains be interred at the shrine in Harare, where the ruling elite and former fighters in Zimbabwe’s 1970s independence war are buried.
Mugabe’s children had in June challenged the Chief‘s controversial ruling at a magistrate court, arguing that he acted outside his jurisdiction when he found former First Lady Grace Mugabe guilty of violating tradition by burying the strongman at his homestead.
He fined Grace five cows and a goat for not carrying out the burial properly.
The Chinhoyi Magistrates Court rejected an appeal by Mugabe’s children that the traditional court’s ruling should be ignored, Mugabe family lawyer Fungai Chimwamurombe said.
Chiefs in Zimbabwe have jurisdiction over their local subjects but it is rare for them to order families to exhume bodies for reburial.
Following Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s founding father death in Singapore in 2019 at 95 from cancer, a standoff ensued between the government and his family over his final resting place, stretching for nearly three weeks.