Chief Zvimba fined former First Lady Grace Mugabe five cattle and two goats for violating traditional customs and rites following the burial of her husband, the late ex-president Robert Mugabe at the family rural home’s courtyard.
On Thursday Grace was summoned to appear before Chief Zvimba’s traditional court at Gonzo Guzha Hall at Murombedzi growth point in Zvimba but she did not turn up because she is currently admitted in a hospital in Singapore.
Last week, Mugabe’s exiled nephew Patrick Zhuwao said President Emmerson Mnangagwa was behind renewed efforts to exhume the remains of the late founding leader in order to extract a mystic scepter, or “tsvimbo yaMambo” believed to have been buried with the country’s founding father.
The late Mugabe who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years before his inglorious exit following a military coup in November 2017, died aged 95 in a Singaporean hospital from prostate cancer. Mugabe’s family said he refused the National Heroes Acre during the period post his exit.
Mnangagwa’s government attempts to have the remains of Mugabe interred at the national shrine where a mausoleum was being built for him were in vain as Grace remained adamant on her husband being buried in his rural home.
But Grace is also facing charges of disregarding earlier counsel to lay to rest the late former president at a designated site where his late mother had identified prior to her passing.
At Gonzo Guzha Hall, Thursday morning, there was heavy presence of hostile state security personnel, who included armed police officers, police intelligence members, and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives who chased away journalists saying they were working on instructions from “higher authority.”
The media were ordered to stay 100 metres away from the venue.
Dominic Matibiri, a relative of Mugabe family who was also barred by police from joining proceedings, told journalists that he was wondering where the cattle would come from.
“When the court rules that Grace should pay cattle, we wonder from whose kraal they will take these beasts. By summoning her, the chief belittled us as surviving men from our clan who are supposed to answer to such allegations,” said Matibiri.
“He is now doing as he pleases, but what he has done is exposing the chieftainship to ridicule. We as the Mugabe family hold claim to the Chidziva chieftainship. We are royalty as was Mugabe.”