Kudakwashe Chidziya Manicaland Correspondent
REMAINS of four liberation war fighters were on Tuesday exhumed from a shaft at Odzi Ardwell Copper Mine in Chiwere area where it is believed many combatants were dumped by the Ian Smith regime during the liberation war.
Efforts are now underway to retrieve more bodies from the shaft.
Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba and other senior Government officials from the province witnessed the exhumation.
The remains are linked to victims of atrocities which saw some freedom fighters being burnt and their bodies wrapped in black plastic bags before being dumped in shafts at Odzi Ardwell Mine.
The remains were discovered by illegal gold panners late last year.
In an interview with The Herald, chief exhumer Mr Anyway Chinyani said the remains bear testimony to the brutality of the Rhodesian regime.
“We have exhumed bones of four different bodies as of now, three middle aged and one suspected to be of a youth,” he said. Mr Chinyani said remains of over 100 freedom fighters could have been thrown into the mine shaft.
Minister Gwaradzimba pleaded for more resources from Government for exhumation of the remains.
“Everyone who took part in the liberation war struggle played a vital role in making this nation what it is today,” she said. “These fallen heroes who failed to make it to Zimbabwe from Rhodesia deserve their honour. “Exhumation and identification of these heroes must be prioritised. Without their efforts, the liberty we enjoy today could have not been obtained.”
Silas Karambwe, a director for the company mining the claim, said they will resume operations once all the remains have been exhumed.