UK invites Zim experts to study museum remains after Mugabe claim

2015-08-14 09:26
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. (AP)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Britain has confirmed that it does have "some remains of Zimbabwean origin" in a museum collection, the UK embassy in Harare said Thursday.

President Robert Mugabe, 91, claimed this week that the skulls of leaders of an 1896 rebellion against British rule were being kept "as war trophies" in a national history museum in the UK.

The embassy said in a statement that it had invited Zimbabwean experts to discuss the repatriation of the remains. It also said that it wasn’t clear whether the remains were those referred to by Mugabe.

“We await the appointment of the required Zimbabwean experts in order to take this forward,” the statement said.

“This story highlights the importance of following due process when handling sensitive museum collections,” the statement added.

First Chimurenga

In a televised Heroes’ Day speech on Monday, Mugabe said that “the skulls of beheaded heads” were those of several leaders of the First Chimurenga, or rebellion against British settlers.

He said they included the skulls of Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi, two famous spiritual leaders of the rebellion.

“The First Chimurenga leaders, whose heads were decapitated by the colonial occupying force were then dispatched to England to signify British victory over and subjugation of the local population,” Mugabe claimed.

It is still not clear which museum the remains are held in and whether they are actually on display there, as state media in Zimbabwe has claimed.

The director of Zimbabwe’s national museums and monuments, Godfrey Mahachi has said full details will only emerge after a meeting with museum counterparts in London.

“We will only be able to get the full details after those discussions about how many are the remains, when and under what circumstances they were taken to the UK,” he told Thursday's edition of the state-controlled Herald newspaper.

“That will enable us to reconstruct whose remains they are, using our own history as well. What we want is to repatriate heroes that we are able to identify,” he said.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  uk  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.