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Freedom fighters(17) reburied in Mutasa

Story by Kenias Chivuzhe

SEVENTEEN freedom fighters, who died during the liberation struggle, have been reburied at Matumba Six Shrine in Mutasa, amid calls for more support towards the exhumation and reburial processes.

The reburial of the freedom fighters at Matumba Six Shrine in Mutasa district of Manicaland province brings the number of comrades interred at the shrine to 271.

The reburial process has given their families closure but the story is different for those whose relatives are yet to be identified or reburied.

Chief Exhumer, Cde Joyce Mlilo and Chief Katerere stressed the importance of speeding up the exhumation and reburial processes in the wake of revelations that several people who died during the liberation struggle are yet to be accorded decent reburial.

“There is a need to ensure families of the deceased get benefits in honour of their late relatives. Some of the parents of the late freedom fighters are now old and without the financial capacity to sustain their lives. It is important that these parents get assistance,” said Cde Joyce Mlilo the chief exhumer.

“The exhumation and reburial process implementation is long overdue in my area. A lot of people were killed during the war and require decent burials. This programme needs to be fully supported,” said Chief Katerere the local traditional leader.

With exhumations and reburials underway, there is however still a huge task ahead.

“The reburials are part of the agreement made during the war that those who die will be accorded decent reburial when the country gets independent. We are looking for more support from the government and the ZANU PF party.

“There is a need for closure on the issue. They reburied 17 today to add on the 254 already buried here bringing the total to 271. We have more than 600 freedom fighters buried here in mass graves. We want to construct a museum here,” said Cde Gift Kagweda, Manicaland War Veterans Chairperson.

Meanwhile, an exhumation policy to guide and offer more support towards the cause is on the cards with the government also planning to set up a Biobank, where DNA samples for all exhumed bodies will be kept for future reference.

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