Mugabe 'bitter' as Zim set to repatriate heroes' skulls from UK

2015-08-11 16:49
Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe. (File: AFP)

Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe. (File: AFP)

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Cape Town – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government is set to repatriate the skulls of fallen heroes which were taken to Britain during the colonial era, reports said on Tuesday.

Speaking during the country's Heroes Day commemorations in Harare, Mugabe said Britain had invited Zimbabwe to collect the remains, adding that the repatriation of the skulls would afford the war heroes decent burials, News Day reported.

Mugabe castigated Britain for having kept the skulls as "war trophies" in the British History Museum.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Mugabe said his country would collect the skulls with "bitterness".

"We are told that skulls of our people, our leaders, are being displayed in a British museum and they are inviting us to repatriate them. We will repatriate them, but with bitterness, questioning the rationale behind decapitating them," Mugabe was quoted as saying.

Zimbabwe attained its independence from Britain in 1980.

Mugabe said his government would consult with traditional leaders about how to bury the remains at the country’s "sacred" shrines.

The Sunday Mail indicated in July that the skulls included those of Mashayamombe Chinengundu of Mhondoro and Chief Makoni Chingaira of Rusape, who were beheaded by British invasion forces at the height of Zimbabwe’s first war of resistance against white settlers in the 1890s.

Their heads were reportedly shipped abroad in exchange for hefty sums of money.

The report said some researchers believe other heroes like Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi were hanged and their heads were also taken overseas.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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