A Zimbabwean chief has summoned former First Lady Grace Mugabe to appear before a village court to answer charges of “inappropriately” burying the country’s late former president, Robert Mugabe, at the family homestead saying the move is “unheard of” in his area.
Chief Zvimba wants Grace to exhume Mugabe’s body for reburial at a gravesite where his mother, Bona, is interred.
In a letter dated April 29, 2021, Chief Zvimba ordered her to attend the village court next Thursday at Gonzo Guzha Hall in Murombedzi Growth Point at 9:30 AM.
“You are facing charges of burying the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe at his homestead. This is unheard of in Chief Zvimba’s area. At the same, time you are accused of abandoning Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s property which is scattered nationwide,” the chief said.
“All properties of the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe are supposed to be kept at his homestead and handled in line with our traditions. I want you to rebury the late president in accordance with our traditions and in Zvimba at a place designated by the family and his late mother. These charges you are facing attract a fine of five cattle and a goat.”
The traditional leader further told Mrs. Mugabe she was allowed to bring witnesses.
“We will proceed with the case and make an appropriate ruling if you don’t attend the village court without seeking permission.”
Grace was asked to fix a date with appropriate authorities if she won’t attend the village court next week.
The former first lady and his nephew, Leo Mugabe, were unreachable on their mobile phones.
Leo Mugabe was quoted by an online publication recently as saying he was not aware of any moves by Chief Zvimba to summon him to the village court to face charges of breaking traditional rules and regulations of burying people in his area.
Mugabe, who was toppled in a military coup in 2017, died of cancer in Singapore. The family is believed to have multiple farms, and several companies, including a dairy farm.
According to independent economists, the Mugabe family has businesses worth more than US$10 million.
Opposition National Patriotic Front (NPF) spokesman Jealousy Mawarire, a family friend of the Mugabes, blamed Mugabe’s successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa saying he was the one pushing the exhumation.
“The Junta occultic comedy around the burial and envisaged exhumation of late President Mugabe continues with Mnangagwa office representative Jeremiah Moyo accompanying a team comprising Borrowdale police, Chief Zvimba representative and a messenger of court to Blue Roof to administer summons on Former First Lady, Grace Mugabe accusing her of ‘improperly’ burying the late RGM in contravention of some dubious chieftainship burial rites claimed by a Zanu PF DCC member, Tinos Manongovere,” Mawarire tweeted.
Mawarire said “Nick Mangwana (secretary for information) cannot now deny President ED involvement in the attempts to exhume RGM’s remains given that an official from his office, Jeremiah Moyo, accompanied the team which delivered Manongovere’s summons at Blue Roof. There is also WhatsApp communication between individuals in the involved team alleging that the whole saga is at the behest of Idhii [ED].”
“It is interesting to note that a Zanu-PF DCC member, Tinos Manongovere, purports to have more rights over RGM’s remains more than his eldest son, Robert Jnr, who, ironically, is named after the founding leader of independent Zim. Robert Jnr was besides his father till the end.”
Mangwana was not immediately available for comment.