By Bulawayo Correspondent
OUTSPOKEN former minister and Zanu PF politburo member, Tshinga Dube has defended late former President Robert Mugabe’s family for burying the once fierce ruler at his rural home in Zvimba.
Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club on Africa Day, the ex-Makokoba legislator and one time Mugabe minister said his former boss died a bitter man.
Mugabe died September 2019, almost two years after he was dethroned in a military assisted coup masterminded by his one-time deputy and incumbent leader Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Following his death, spirited attempts by government to bury him at the National Heroes Acre came a cropper as his family insisted on fulfilling the late leader’s bedside wishes of being buried in his rural home.
The former strongman’s burial saga took an intriguing twist recently when a Zvimba Chief summoned his widow, Grace to appear before him to answer to allegations of violating custom by burying her husband in a family courtyard.
The Chief fined Grace five beasts and two goats after finding her guilty in absentia before ordering that Mugabe’s remains be exhumed and reburied at the national shrine.
Commenting on the developments, Dube said the family could be understood for snubbing government in the first place.
“There are many interpretations why he (Mugabe) was not put at Heroes Acre because as you know, the way he was dispossessed of power made him and the family very unhappy and angry.
“So, they had a good reason that they react very angrily to the extent that they decided he must be buried in his village; so, there is nothing which we can do about it,” Dube said.
The Zanu PF politician said he was not aware of any alleged clandestine manoeuvres by Mnangagwa to have Mugabe’s remains exhumed under a sinister motive to use them for ritual purposes.
“So, I do not know about the President trying to take the former president to use him for rituals.
“That I do not know but all I can say is just that some people believe that the former president must be at the Heroes Acre because he is one of those who came up with the idea of a Heroes Acre and he must be there.
“Others are saying why should he be in his village when others go there but as I said, interpretations are many.”
Asked if he ever believed rituals could secure leadership or power consolidation by politicians, Dube admitted such things existed.
“Some people kill in order to be lucky or stronger, which I do not think is true at all.
“Some chiefs, when they are installed, they make it a must that they kill a human being to become strong. These are all beliefs. Rituals are made out of beliefs,” said the Zanu PF politburo member.