Mugabe reburial drama spills into the High Court

Zimstar News

Late former President Robert Mugabe’s family is this Tuesday set to lodge a High Court appeal against Friday’s ruling by a Chinhoyi magistrate dismissing an earlier appeal against a traditional leader’s orders to have the once fierce ruler’s remains exhumed from a family courtyard in rural Zvimba for reburial at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

Mugabe’s burial drama was reignited this year when a Zvimba traditional leader summoned the late leader’s window, Grace to his court for allegedly breaking custom by burying her husband in a family homestead.

The chief later issued a default judgement after the former First Lady failed to appear in his court.

A latter bid to have the ruling reversed came unstuck Friday when Mashonaland West provincial magistrate Ruth Moyo tossed the appeal.

In a brief ruling, Moyo said Mugabe’s children – Bona Mugabe, Tinotenda Robert Jnr and Bellaimine Mugabe – who were appellants in the matter, had no locus standi to seek the reversal of the chief’s ruling when in fact, it is their mother who had been cited.

The family has since escalated the matter to the High Court with signs it was not ready to have the wishes of the long serving dictator reversed.

Family lawyer Fungai Chinwamurombe told the media Monday an appeal has since been filed through the Chinhoyi court, with a similar application set to be filed this Tuesday.

“Yes, we have filed an appeal at Chinhoyi Magistrates Court. The process is that you file at the court of first instance, and then bring it to the High Court.

“So when my team filed at magistrate’s court at Chinhoyi, they drove to Harare and by the time they got here the High Court which closes at 3pm had already closed. Therefore, the process will be completed tomorrow (Tuesday),” he said.

Mugabe died aged 95 September 6, 2019.

His family claimed the stubborn former leader had refused to be buried at the national shrine, the much-esteemed cemetery where he delighted in presenting often lengthy and bombastic speeches for years while presiding over the burial of his former liberation war colleagues.

Mugabe was still bitter over his shock November 2017 ouster by his long time right hand man and Zimbabwe incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa.