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Grace says Mugabe reburial saga puts Zim courts under unnecessary spotlight

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |

“The judiciary is putting itself under unnecessary spotlight within the region and the world by disgracefully pushing for the exhumation of my husband”, Grace Mugabe has told the High Court.

FILE- In this Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, file photo, widow Grace Mugabe wears a black veil as she follows the casket of former president Robert Mugabe to an air force helicopter for transport to a stadium where it will lie in state, at his official residence in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe. Known as a strong-willed woman with political ambitions, Grace Mugabe rose from being one of the president’s secretaries to become first lady. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
FILE- In this Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, file photo, widow Grace Mugabe wears a black veil as she follows the casket of former president Robert Mugabe to an air force helicopter for transport to a stadium where it will lie in state, at his official residence in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe. Known as a strong-willed woman with political ambitions, Grace Mugabe rose from being one of the president’s secretaries to become first lady. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Grace is appealing against a ruling by magistrate Ruth Moyo of Chinhoyi which approved the exhumation of the late former president Robert Mugabe and his reburial at the National Heroes Acre.

Mugabe who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years before being removed through a military coup by his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa (now President) died in Singapore from prostate cancer in 2019. Mnangagwa tried in vain to have him buried at the national shrine.

Chief Zvimba renewed the efforts earlier this year and summoned Grace to his court. Chinhoyi Magistrates’ Court dismissed an appeal by Mugabe’s children, Bona and Chatunga rubber-stamping the traditional leaders’ directives.

In her appeal filed at the High Court, Grace cited that the magistrate Moyo acted improperly by making a ruling based on an appeal by Mugabe’s children when she had earlier on dismissed their capacity to appeal. She cited Chief Zvimba and Moyo as respondents in the application.

“In a shocking and unexpected twist of events, the magistrate respondent actually upheld a preliminary point indicating that the application she had directed to be filed was improper because the deponent (Bona) had no authority to depose to the affidavit,” she said.

“Whilst it is not the cause of action herein I will mention for good measure that the decision on that preliminary point was equally wrong as I clearly gave my daughter Bona Mugabe the authority to depose to the affidavit in question on my behalf.

“I reserve my right to file a separate process challenging this decision,” she said.

Grace added that the “wrongful” directive by magistrate Moyo “and her clear neglect of duties is prejudicial to me in that it violates my right to equal protection before the law by allowing the irregular decision of chief Zvimba to stand when it ought not to stand at all.

“The exhumation order that was granted was improper in that issues of burials are governed by general law through the Burial and Cremation Act.”

She said the matter involved the reburial of a former president of Zimbabwe hence it attracted unnecessary attention from the whole world.

“I wish to direct the court’s attention to the fact that this matter involves the former president of the Republic of Zimbabwe and to that end it has attracted so much public attention and that puts the Zimbabwean Courts under unnecessary spotlight within the region and the world over,” she said.

The matter is yet to be heard. Nehanda Radio

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