Former First Lady, Grace Mugabe has been fined five cattle and two goats for violating traditional customs and rites in the burial of her husband, the late ex-president Robert Mugabe, NewZimbabwe.com reports.
Mugabe who died in Singapore in September 2019 was buried in the family rural home’s courtyard at Kutama Village under Paramount Chief Zvimba, born Stanley Urayayi Mhondoro.
Grace was summoned to appear before Chief Zvimba’s traditional court on Thursday at Gonzo Guzha Hall at Murombedzi growth point in Zvimba but snubbed the hearing.
The court venue, Gonzo Guzha Hall, was reportedly teeming with state security personnel, who included armed police officers, police intelligence members, and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives as early as 8 AM on Thursday.
Journalists were chased away and ordered to stay 100 metres away from the venue.
The directive to bar reporters and other unauthorised people from the proceedings came from “higher authority”, security details said.
Although the start of the hearing was scheduled for 9:30 am, proceedings only commenced at around 11 am as the court was waiting for Grace to arrive.
Reports suggest that only 15 people, including four chiefs, were allowed into the court.
Dominic Matibiri, a relative of the Mugabes was also barred by police from joining proceedings.
NewZimbabwe.com later caught up with Matibiri who rubbished the court sitting, arguing Chief Zvimba had an ulterior motive.
Matibiri told the publication that Chief Zvimba was part of the chiefs’ panel that decided on the late former president’s final resting place and should also be fined if the custom was to be followed to the letter and spirit.
He added the whole drama surrounding the push to exhume Mugabe’s remains for reburial had brought shame to the Zvimba chieftainship. Said Matibiri:
When the court rules that Grace should pay cattle, we wonder from whose kraal they will take these beasts.
By summoning her, the chief belittled us as surviving men from our clan who are supposed to answer to such allegations.
He is now doing as he pleases, but what he has done is exposing the chieftainship to ridicule.
We as the Mugabe family hold claim to the Chidziva chieftainship. We are royalty as was Mugabe.