Robert Gabriel Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years from 1980-2017 and despite being shunned by many, the nonagenarian had managed to protect the country’s legacy. The late President fast tracked the Land Reform Programme which gave the majority of blacks land ownership. Prior to that, land was owned in the hands of the white minority.
Mugabe managed to elevate Zimbabwe in the areas of education, tourism and hospitality and agriculture among others.
The writer therefore noted with concern that apart from being surrounded by selfish and power hungry people who manipulated him, Mugabe heroism can never be taken away from him.
Although, Mugabe, some described him as an ‘enemy of the revolution’ by the time of his death, the writer notes that the call for the exhumation of his body for reburial at the National Heroes Acre is vital towards rebuilding Zimbabwean history.
Chief Zvimba, born Stanley Mhondoro, found Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace guilty of violating tradition by burying Mugabe in the courtyard of his rural homestead.
However, family members of the late Mugabe including his nephew Leo Mugabe vowed that the exhumation was not going to happen. He further accused the Chief and the government of attempts to force Mugabe’s remains onto the Heroes Acre against the late president’s wish.
From the inquiries done by the writer, many people argue that Chief Zvimba has connived with government to exhume the remains of the late president for reburial at Heroes Acre in an attempt to achieve their political own agenda.
The writer, however, views the exhumation of Robert Mugabe’s body for reburial at Heroes Acre as something crucial in the eyes of patriotic Zimbabweans.
The history of Zimbabwe without Mugabe is incomplete. Mugabe was admired by many worldwide despite the fact that he fell for a trap set by criminals who happened to surround him before being dislodged through ‘Operation Restore Legacy’. Mugabe’s wife and her cohorts in the form of the so called G-40 group drove Mugabe to Waterloo. The current President Emmerson Mnangagwa has learned something from Mugabe in as far as nation-building is concerned.
Mugabe was among the founding fathers of Zimbabwe. The history of Zimbabwe thus is incomplete without the likes of Tongogara, Chitepo, Mujuru(Rex and Joice), Muzenda, Zvobgo, Mavhaire, Dabengwa, Nkomo, Chief Tangwena among others.
During his tenure of office, Mugabe buried cadres at the Heroes Acre thus honoring brothers and sisters who sacrificed their lives to fight for the independence of Zimbabwe. Excluding Mugabe from the Heroes’ Acre therefore, takes a lot of respect from it. The writer therefore notes that Mugabe’s remains should be exhumed for reburial at the Heroes’ Acre in a way to preserve the country’s history.
The move to bury Mugabe at his rural courtyard was a ploy by Grace and her cohorts to settle scores by the new national leadership given the way Mugabe was removed from power.
Even if Chief Zvimba’s call for the reburial of Mugabe the Heroes Acre is a government’s project to achieve personal agenda, it remains important that he be reburied.
It has come to the writer’s understanding that although Mugabe has distorted the history of Zimbabwe in some instances, the move to devalue ‘patriotic history’ has been fast-tracked by the move to bury Mugabe at his rural courtyard.
The rift between the incumbent President and the former first lady can be illustrated by the way the latter denounced and defamed the former in public. Failure of Grace’s ploy to override Mnangagwa saw the widening of the rift between the two.
Driven by the principles of nation building, Mnangagwa then instigated the reconciliation agenda in a way to build the nation and heal the country from past ills.
The G-40, on the other hand, managed to degrade the post–Mugabe government for human rights violation and election rigging which they think would move the government into disrepute. Efforts by the G-40 to degrade the post-Mugabe government remained in vain and the refusal to bury Mugabe at the national shrine proved to be the ploy by family members and enemies of the new order to render the Mnangagwa-led government illegitimate.
The history of Zimbabwe without Mugabe at the national shrines is incomplete and the exhumation of his remains for reburial at the national shrine gives history value.
The national shrine portrays the struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence and the writer is convinced that the exhumation of Mugabe’s remains for burial at Heroes’ Acre would be an important move towards the reconstruction of history.
Despite different political affiliations, Zimbabweans should consider their culture and customs which shapes their history.