Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangwagwa has requested that the body of Cecil John Rhodes, the 19th century British imperialist should be exhumed and taken back to Britain.
The call was made by Mnangwagwa as he met with traditional leaders in Harere. He stated that the remains of Rhodes should be exhumed and returned to Britain to be replaced by Zimbabwean ancestors who are being kept in Europe.
“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,” the President said.
He added that, “his remains must be returned to where he hailed from and we can also have our ancestral remains which are being kept in Europe.”
This is not the first time that the exhumation of Cecil Rhodes is called for. Several attempts made by the locals to have him removed were blocked by former President, Robert Mugabe who held the view that, Rhodes is part of the country’s history.
At the moment, the graveside has been turned into a tourist attraction. The site attracts people from both within and outside Africa. The hilly place is called Malindadzimu which means a “burial place of the defied ancestors.”
Zimbabwe is not the country raising concerns about Rhodes; there was a massive campaign in South Africa for his statue to be removed from the University of Cape Town for his racist behavior, brutal land conquest and role in the infamous apartheid.