Rhodes's remains Will Not Be Exhumed: Mahachi

This follows attempts by war veterans from Zanu-PF’s armed wing during the liberation struggle, (Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) last week to destroy the grave and send the remains to Britain.

In an interview, Mahachi said destroying the grave will erase an important part of the country’s history – colonialism, noting that it is for this reason that the grave should not be tempered with.

“The call for the removal of the grave is not new but our view is that it is part of national history and heritage and therefore it should not be tempered with.  This is the reason why we are keeping Rhodes grave because it is part and parcel of the history of Zimbabwe.

“Rhodes grave continues to be a reminder of the colonisation of this country. It is a tangible element of that history,” Mahachi said in an interview.

Rhodes was laid to rest in 1902 at the Matopo Hills.

ZANLA war veterans last week attempted to dig up the grave last week saying it is blocking the rains.

Bulawayo Metropolitan Govenor, Cain Mathema in 2010 called for the removal of Rhodes grave saying it is a celebration of colonialism of Zimbabwe.

Mathema was quoted then saying, “Rhodes was deliberately buried at Matopo, it was not a coincidence. And I wonder why 30 years after independence his grave is still found on the country’s traditional shrine of worship.

“It’s an insult to our ancestors and maybe that is the reason why our ancestors at Njelele, where we pray for rain are no longer giving usenough rain.

“All over the country you find schools named after colonialists, statues erected to celebrate colonialism. I am struck and baffled by the attitude of our people to continually embrace a bygone system that worked tirelessly to thwart their energy and aspirations,” Mathema said at the time.