President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the remains of British imperialist Cecil John Rhodes can be exhumed from the Matopos National Park in Matabeleland South and sent to Britain.
Mnangagwa said this while addressing chiefs at the annual Chief’s Conference in Harare on Friday.
He said the remains of the founder of the former British colony, Rhodesia, were of no importance to the country and should be sent to the United Kingdom and Britain should reciprocate by repatriating the remains of Chimurenga heroes. Said Mnangagwa:
We still have Rhodes’ remains in Matobo. What do you think about it? If you go to the shrine, you don’t know whether you are talking to Rhodes or our ancestors.
His remains must be returned to where he hailed from and we can also have our ancestral remains which are being kept in Europe.
In 2012, the late former president Robert Mugabe blocked war veterans and ZANU PF members from exhuming his remains, saying his legacy was part of the country’s history.
Rhodes (1853-1902), was imperialist par excellence, a businessman and politician.
He played a dominant role in southern Africa in the late 19th Century and was at the forefront in the annexation of the greater part of the region for the British Crown.
Rhodes envisioned an uninterrupted railway link stretching from Cape Town (South Africa) to Cairo (Egypt) — the entire north to south controlled at the time by the British Empire.
Rhodes died aged 48 at his seaside cottage in Muizenberg, Western Cape, South Africa, and was buried at World’s View, a hilltop located approximately 35 kilometres south of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
The late activist Larry ‘Warlord’ Chakaredza was the first Zimbabwean to make such a threat.