According to court papers filed Monday, Grace Mugabe, the widow of Zimbabwe’s lengthy former ruler Robert Mugabe, has opposed a court order to exhume her husband’s remains for reburial at a national shrine.
After weeks of haggling over his last resting place, Mugabe was buried in his remote home village of Kutama, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of the capital Harare, in September 2019.
His family had objected to the government’s intentions to bury him at Harare’s National Heroes’ Acre, where work on a unique tomb for him had begun.
A traditional leader, however, penalized Grace Mugabe with five cows and two goats in May for illegally burying Mugabe and ordered his exhumation and reburial.
Mugabe’s children then appealed the chief’s decision, but a magistrate court upheld it last month, ruling that the ex-children president’s lacked legal standing to dispute their father’s exhumation.
According to court documents filed on Monday, the widow claimed in an appeal to the High Court that the magistrate’s judgment upholding the traditional chief’s direction was “grossly irregular and arbitrary.”
Robert Mugabe died on September 6, 2019, at the age of 95, in a Singapore hospital, almost two years after a military coup ended his dictatorial 37-year tenure.
The government desired that he be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre, which is reserved for liberation heroes.