BY NUNURAI JENA
CONTROVERSY continues to follow former President Robert Mugabe to his grave, with his neighbours now being forced to relocate their cattle kraals to pave way for the construction of a protective precast wall at his rural Zvimba home.
Mugabe died and was buried at his rural Zvimba home in September.
When NewsDay Weekender visited the Mugabes’ homestead at Kutama a few days ago, about 200 workers were busy on site building the brick protective wall around the homestead where Mugabe’s remains are interred.
The controversial protective wall came at a cost for some villagers as they were forced to relocate their cattle kraals to pave way for construction of the wall by Chinese contractors.
A villager, Gibson Mareya, said they were summoned to the site by former First Lady Grace Mugabe early this month and told that their cattle kraals would be relocated to near Kutama Police Base. They were allegedly told that there was no room for negotiations, but should simply follow instructions.
Mareya said no one objected save for Mugabe’s relative, Josphine Jarijari, who gave a brief history of the cattle relocation history.
“There was no room for negotiations. We were told what to do and everyone agreed. Grace told us that she would pay the cost of relocation. But a Mugabe relative, Ambuya Jarijari, initially refused, briefing the meeting that this is the second relocation after the first was done during the expansion of Mugabe’s rural home,” Mareya said.
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Efforts to get a comment from Grace were fruitless. But Mugabe’s nephew, Dominic Matibiri, said the wall was meant to prevent intruders who might want to tamper with Mugabe’s remains.
“Since we buried our father there, a precast wall is a security measure to prevent his enemies from tampering around with his remains, considering that he was no longer a Zanu PF member,” Matibiri said without elaborating.
He said besides the security wall, they would also install CCTVs.