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Chief who pushed for Mugabe’s exhumation and reburial dies aged 92

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent 


CHIEF Chidziva of Zvimba, born Johannes Jenami, has died after a long battle with a kidney problem.

He was aged 92.

Son to the late chief, Gibson Jenami, confirmed the passing on of his father Thursday.

“In Chief Chidziva, we have lost a father figure who was a unifier and wise counsellor. He was the only surviving son and last born in his family,” said Jenami Jnr, who is Headman Katizagombo.

Asked if the nonagenarian’s death was not linked to Mugabe’s tormenting spirits, Jenami Jnr responded: “We have so many people who have died before Chief Chidziva and, therefore, would not want to go into details of who or what caused his death, all those who went before him also wanted to survive.”

The late chief was among a group of traditional leaders from the Zvimba chieftainship, led by Chief Zvimba born Stanley Mhondoro, who agitated for the exhumation and reburial of late former president Robert Mugabe despite objections by his family.

Jenami’s death follows the passing on in September 2021 of Chief Beperere, who was also at the forefront spearheading the unearthing of the late Mugabe’s remains arguing the family had erred in laying him to rest in the courtyard.

Born Alfred Tome, Chief Beperere succumbed to Covid 19, although his subjects claimed Mugabe’s ancestral spirits were angered by calls for the exhumation of his body from the family homestead in Zvimba communal lands.

The only surviving actors —Chief Zvimba and Chief Seremani — who collectively presided over the matter were prophesied by Mugabe’s close relative Dominic Matibiri that they would die one after the other as avenging spirits strike back.

The Mugabe’s are contesting against the Chiefs and Magistrates Court’s decision to exhume and rebury the late strongman.

Chief Chidziva is survived by two wives and 21 children.