Mnangagwa’s Lawyers Claim He Never Announced That He Was Going To Exhume And Rebury Bodies Of Gukurahundi Victims
14 September 2020

Paul Nyathi

Lawyers representing President Emmerson in a case involving a Gukurahundi survivor, Charles Thomas, Zapu and Ibhetshu Likazulu who are jointly seeking an interdict to bar government from exhuming victims of the state-sponsored massacres have made a shock revelation that Mnangagwa never pronounced the exhumation exercise.

Two weeks ago, the litigants filed an urgent application at the High Court calling for a High Court urgent interdiction stopping Mnangagwa from his planned exhumation exercise.

The litigants cited President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe, Jenni Williams and Matabeleland Collective as respondents.

The litigants also cited as respondents, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) chairperson Sello Nare and the NPRC.

Mnangagwa and Kazembe’s lawyer Rejoice Hove from the Attorney General’s office argued the court should not grant the interdict as the government never announced that it was planning to conduct Gukurahundi victims’ reburials.

Hove said Thomas and the other litigants should have waited for government to embark on the said reburials.

But the applicants’ lawyer, Nqobani Sithole said the government plan to exhume and rebury the Gukurahundi victims were true as this was publicised in government-owned press.

Sithole said Gukurahundi was an emotive issue, which should be handled carefully using all channels provided for under the national constitution.

He added the exhumation of Gukurahundi victims without consulting various stakeholders was a violation of the Constitution particularly the Inquest Act.

However, the presiding judge in the matter, Justice Martin Makonese asked Sithole if his clients had made efforts to engage the NPRC over the issue before rushing to court.

The lawyer told the court that his clients hastily approached the High Court because they were convinced the government was going ahead with the reburials without consulting anyone.

However, Justice Makonese reserved judgment in the matter.