Britain responds to Zimbabwe’s bid to repatriate Mbuya Nehanda’s skull. During the unveiling of Nehanda’s statue erected in Harare on Tuesday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that Zimbabwe had engaged the UK over the repatriation of Nehanda’s skull.
The United Kingdom (UK) has responded to Zimbabwe’s bid to repatriate the skull of Mbuya Charwe, the spirit medium of Mbuya Nehanda, first Chimurenga heroine. He said: We shall, however, continue to discuss to bring back her skull which was taken to the United Kingdom along others.
Other skulls that are reportedly in the UK’s museums where they are displayed as trophies of war belong to Sekuru Kaguvi, Chingaira Makoni, Chinengundu, Mashayamombe, Mapondera, Mashonganyika and Chitekedza Chiwashira.
The Herald contacted the UK Embassy in Harare on the matter and an official who prefers anonymity for professional reasons said there are some negotiations currently underway. The official said:
The UK welcomes ongoing conversations between the museum and the Government of Zimbabwe on the issue of repatriation of remains of Zimbabwean origin.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe also underscored the importance of repatriating the head that was stolen by the British colonial settlers over a century ago to the country. He said:
Sadly, the remains of Mbuya Nehanda are yet to be repatriated so that proper burial can be accorded in line with our cultural norms and values. However, I am happy to advise that our efforts to ensure that the remains are repatriated to the country are in progress.
Zimbabwe has in the past engaged the UK in an endeavour to repatriate Nehanda’s skull but efforts were futile.
The erection of Nehanda’s statue court varying opinion, some observers applauded the government for “reclamation of Zimbabwe revolutionary history” while some argue that the government’s priorities are misplaced.
Source – Pindula news