‘Exhumations, brazen disrespect of the dead’

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has described the exhumation of remains of reportedly ex-freedom fighters from a disused mineshaft in Mt Darwin by war veterans as a brazen show of disrespect for the dead.

Tsvangirai told MDC-T supporters on Wednesday at a memorial service for five party activists who were allegedly abducted and murdered by suspected Zanu PF activists two years ago that government should bring the perpetrators of political murders to book.

“We have recently witnessed the exhumation of dead bodies in one corner of the country for cheap political gain,” Tsvangirai said.

“We should accord those that died violent and unnatural deaths the respect they deserve. We should ensure that in creating a final resting place for their earthly remains, we leave no stone unturned in determining who killed them and why and ensuring that their relatives achieve the closure they deserve.”

Tsvangirai said justice must prevail and all those who murdered innocent and defenceless victims should be brought to book.

l Meanwhile, Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross last week asked Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in Parliament about the government’s policy regarding exhumations.

Mutambara replied: “Whatever we do in Mount Darwin and anywhere else in the world must be in keeping with our laws.

Consequently, as you are aware the Ministry of Home Affairs has taken over the process of the exhumations and in that process it will be able to address the concerns raised.”

The High Court in Bulawayo has since ordered the Fallen Heroes Trust and its chairman George Rutanhire to stop with immediate effect the exhumations.

Justice Nicholas Mathonsi also ordered Home Affairs co-ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone to ensure that the Trust complies with the court order.