Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called for the remains of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes to be exhumed and repatriated to Britain.
Rhodes died in 1902. His self-chosen burial place is at Matobo Hills National Park, south of Bulawayo.
Mnangagwa told traditional leaders on Friday in Harare that Rhodes' remains should be returned in exchange for Zimbabweans’ ancestors’ remains in the UK.
“We still have Rhodes’ remains in Matobo. What do you think about it? If you go to the shrine, you don’t know whether you are talking to Rhodes or our ancestors. His remains must be returned to where he hailed from and we can also have our ancestral remains which are being kept in Europe,” said Mnangagwa.
Calls for Rhodes’ exhumation date back to 2012. The late former president Robert Mugabe blocked war veterans and Zanu-PF politicians from exhuming his remains, saying his legacy was part of the country’s history. The veterans had blamed his grave for the lack of rain in the Matobo area.