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Grace Mugabe challenges court order to exhume husband’s body

Grace Mugabe, the widow of Zimbabwe’s longest-serving President, Robert Mugabe has stepped up to challenge a court order to exhume her husband’s remains for reburial at the national shrine.

Mugabe after a long illness died in hospital in Singapore on September 6, 2019, aged 95, almost two years after a military coup ended his autocratic 37-year rule. He was buried in his rural home village Kutama in September 2019 after weeks of wrangles over his final resting place.

The Zimbabwe government wanted him to be buried at the National Heroes Acre, which is set aside for Heroes of the liberation struggle against colonial rule. But his family had opposed the government’s plans saying that the deceased before his death had told them he didn’t want to be buried at the shrine, which is also a tourist site.

However, in May this year, Tinos Mangovere from Mugabe’s home village wrote to their traditional leader, Chief Zwimba to summon Grace to the traditional court over burying her husband at the centre of the homestead, which is a taboo in their tradition.

Grace Mugabe was found guilty and fined 5 cows and 2 goats for improperly burying Mugabe and ordered his exhumation and reburial in Harare.

Mugabe’s children then appealed the chief’s directive but a magistrate court last month upheld the order saying the ex- president’s children had no legal authority to challenge the exhumation of their father.

That prompted Grace Mugabe to take over the legal battle.

According to the Zimbabwe papers on Monday, Mugabe’s widow in an appeal to High court said the magistrate’s order upholding the directive of the traditional chief was ” grossly irregular and unreasonable.”

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