CHOINHOYI magistrate Ruth Moyo has upheld her decision to have the late former president Robert Mugabe’s remains exhumed after she dismissed an appeal by his children.
The family of late political strongmen had filed an appeal against Moyo’s earlier ruling dismissing the application to nullify an order by a traditional court to exhume Mugabe’s remains and rebury them at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
She noted the person cited in the case was their mother, former first lady Grace Mugabe while the complainant was one Tinos Manongovere.
In upholding her earlier decision during the court’s sitting Tuesday at Chinhoyi Court Complex, Moyo averred Bona Mutsahuni who filed the founding affidavit had no locus standi, as she did not have power of attorney to represent her mother at the material time of disposal.
Moyo said, “ln case, the court has made a determination that when Bona Mutsahuni filed the founding affidavit, she had no authority at law to do so.
“The special power of attorney was executed on 27 July 2021, twenty (20) days later the application was filed has no retrospect effect.
“The court will not deal with all the other points in limine so raised since the first one disposes of the matter. On that basis, the point in limine raised is upheld and the application dismissed accordingly.”
The appeal was last week lodged at Chinhoyi Magistrates Court, which is the court of the first instance while similar papers were deposited at the High Court.
The Mugabes had asked Chinhoyi courts to make a judicial review of the ruling by Chief Zvimba, born Stanley Urayayi Mhondoro, and other chiefs from the area, compelling the ex-First Lady to exhume her husband’s remains and rebury them at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
At the start of the hearing, respondent Manongovere’s lawyers had raised four points of argument, namely that the Mugabe siblings had no authority to bring the application, that the papers lacked a basis in that they sought to review a judgment instead of the whole proceedings.
Also, the applicant’s answering affidavit was irregular as she erroneously introduced new evidence which was not in her founding affidavit and that she used the wrong procedure.
The lawyer representing Bona Mutsahuni and her two brothers then attached the special powers of attorney by Grace Mugabe giving her daughter the authority to represent her in the review application.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government was pushing for Mugabe to be laid to rest at a special mausoleum at the National Heroes’ Acre, but his family refused, saying he wanted to be buried near the grave of his late mother, Bona.
The chief fined the ex-first lady five cattle and a goat for burying the former president at his homestead instead of the family cemetery.
The ex-president was buried at his Kutama village homestead’s courtyard, a place which traditional leaders argue violates customs observed in the area.