Widow of Ex-Zimbabwe President Fined 5 Cows, 2 Goats Over Her Husband’s Burial

The widow of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has been fined five cows and two goats over the burial of her husband after he passed away.

A traditional court, which cannot compel the accused but whose decisions have a strong symbolic impact, met on Thursday morning in the absence of Grace Mugabe, to reach their decision, a source close to the family said.

The former first lady, known as Gucci Grace because of her lavish spending habits, is accused of burying her husband, who died in 2019 at the age of 95, in the courtyard of his home in Kutama, some 90 kilometres (56 miles) west of the capital Harare.

The customary court met in nearby Murombedzi with only around 15 people present and journalists excluded because the traditional leader’s entourage said he wanted ‘some privacy’.

Chief Zvimba, born Stanley Mhondoro, said Mugabe was supposed to be buried in a place chosen by his mother or immediate family.

He called for the body to be exhumed and reburied according to custom.

At the time of Mugabe’s death, there was a dispute between Grace Mugabe and president Emmerson Mnangagwa over where Robert should be buried.

Mnangagwa wanted Mugabe to be interred in the National Heroes Acre burial ground and national monument near Harare.

While Grace wanted her husband to be buried in his home town, away from the capital city.

The former leader’s nephew told news outlet SABC last week that the idea of interring Mugabe in the National Heroes Acre was out of the question for the family because Mugabe had made it clear during his lifetime that he did not want to be buried there.

Until his last breath, Robert Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 37 years, harboured a strong grudge against his former vice president Mnangagwa, who was placed in charge of the country after Mugabe was forced to resign in November 2017.

‘He was not buried at Grace’s home but at her estate and we accepted that as a family,’ Mugabe’s cousin Dominic Matibiri told AFP.

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