The reburial of the remains of reportedly over 700 freedom fighters in Mt Darwin by the Fallen Heroes Trust is an attempt to conceal evidence, amid suspicions some of the victims were killed well after independence, some Bulawayo-based civic society organisations have said.
The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the Fallen Heroes Trust of Zimbabwe last week reportedly began the reburial of the remains that were exhumed in March at Chibondo Mine.
In April, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi ordered the Fallen Heroes Trust and its chairman, George Rutanhire, to stop forthwith the exhumation of remains of former freedom fighters anywhere in the country.
Justice Mathonsi also ordered Home Affairs co-ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone to make sure the Fallen Heroes Trust and Rutanhire complied with the court order.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu spokesperson Mqondisi Moyo told NewsDay yesterday the sudden reburial of the bodies meant Zanu PF was hiding something.
“As far as we are concerned, this particular Trust was ordered by the High Court to stop the exhumations. We want to know if the High Court has given them the go-ahead to begin reburying the bodies,” he said.
“The sudden programme to rebury the bodies shows that Zanu PF is hiding something.”
Moyo said it would have been appropriate if an independent body carried out the reburials.
Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) also concurred, saying: “It was going to be better if an independent body were to carry out the reburials.
“In so far as we are concerned, what Zanu PF is doing is tantamount to concealing evidence,” MLF said.
The burial ceremony, which is expected to take about five days, is meant to give decent burials to freedom fighters and supporters exhumed at Chibondo Mine.
Government has also resolved to erect a national monument at the mine.
The exhumation of the remains, which was done in March, aroused suspicion after some bodies were reportedly retrieved while still intact.
Human rights group Amnesty International said there was need to engage professional forensic experts to carry out the exhumations.