Britain keen to return Mbuya Nehanda’s skull Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe

Herald Reporter 

BRITAIN is committed to working with Zimbabwean authorities for the repatriation of the remains of Mbuya Nehanda and other First Chimurenga heroes.

This comes as the Second Republic on Wednesday unveiled the statue of First Chimurenga war icon Mbuya Nehanda with President Mnangagwa saying Government will do everything to ensure the remains are repatriated.

The heads of heroes and heroines of the First Chimurenga — who were brutally decapitated by the settler regime before being ferried to Britain as trophies of conquest — are yet to be returned home for a befitting burial.

The heads, that are reported to be on display in a British history museum, testify to the horrendous price Zimbabweans paid for the independence and democracy the country enjoys today.

The British Embassy in Harare yesterday said it will work with Zimbabwe to bring back the remains.

The heads belong to Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi, Chingaira Makoni, Chinengundu, Mashayamombe, Mapondera, Mashonganyika and Chitekedza Chiwashira.

Responding to questions from The Herald, a UK Embassy official who prefers anonymity for professional reasons said there are some negotiations currently underway.  

“The UK welcomes ongoing conversations between the museum and the Government of Zimbabwe on the issue of repatriation of remains of Zimbabwean origin.”

On Tuesday, President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic will honour all the country’s heroes who sacrificed with their lives for the country’s independence.

“We shall, however, continue to discuss to bring back her skull which was taken to the United Kingdom along others,” he said.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe also underscored the importance of returning the head that was stolen by the British colonial settlers over a century ago to the country.

“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,” said Minister Kazembe.

Several diplomats and political observers commented the Government of Zimbabwe for remembering the legend that is Mbuya Nehanda, the inspiration behind the Second Chimurenga which culminated in independence in 1980.

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