BY TAURAI MANGUDHLA
A HIGH Court appeal by the late former President Robert Mugabe’s three children against a court ruling which barred them from contesting exhumation of their late father’s remains was withdrawn on Thursday.
Mugabe’s three children Bona Mugabe-Mutsahuni, Tinotenda (Robert Jnr) and Bellarmine Chatunga are challenging an order for the exhumation of their late father and confiscation of their livestock as per the traditional court ruling by Chief Zvimba, born Stanley Mhondoro.
This comes after the High Court judges of appeal in May ruled in favour of Mugabe’s children, who were challenging the exhumation of their father’s remains from their rural home in Zvimba for re-burial at the National Heroes Acre.
Prior to the appeal, Chinhoyi magistrate Ruth Moyo had ruled that Mugabe’s children had no rights to appeal against a judgment handed by the traditional court against their mother, Grace.
“In the context of customary law, the court finds no absurdity in allowing any person aggrieved by a decision of a community court to appeal against it, even though the aggrieved person was not a party in proceedings before the community court,” Moyo ruled in May.
“The court below erred in restricting the right of appeal to persons who were parties in proceedings before the community court. On the basis of the above, the first and second grounds of appeal succeed. The appeal be and is hereby allowed with costs. The judgment of the court a quo is set aside and is substituted as follows: the first preliminary point be, and is hereby dismissed and costs be in the cause.”
Since the magistrate’s ruling in May was already set aside on review, there was apparently nothing to deal with on appeal, hence the High Court on Thursday allowed the withdrawal of the appeal with no order of costs.
Mugabe succumbed to a long illness on September 6, 2019 in Singapore. He was buried in Kutama, Zvimba, which is his rural home on September 28, 2019 after weeks of wrangling over his final resting place.
He was 95.
Two years after his burial in September 2021, the courts ordered that Mugabe’s remains be exhumed from his rural home and be reburied at the national shrine in
But his widow, Grace, challenged the court decision.