Pressure Mounts on Britain to Return Nehanda's Skull

27 MAY, 2021 - 00:05 

Herald Reporters

Pressure is mounting on the British to return the head of Mbuya Nehanda whose statue was unveiled by President Mnangagwa on Wednesday much to the delight of not only Zimbabweans, but the world at large including European nations.

While unveiling the bronze statue, mounted on a footbridge, the President reiterated Government’s desire to have the body of the First Chimurenga liberation war icon returned home for proper and befitting interment.

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

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe 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.

Commenting on the micro-blogging platform Twitter, the Chinese Embassy described Mbuya Nehanda’s statue as a triumph against imperialism.

“Congratulations to Zimbabwe for the unveiling of Mbuya Nehanda statue, a symbol of triumph against imperialism. Indeed, her bones rose again, victory was won and we wish nothing but success to Zimbabwe under the new dispensation”.

Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Musa Blal Dadah described the unveiling of the Mbuya Nehanda statue in Harare as a victory.

“She was not only a heroine for Zimbabwe, but for Africa at large. We also have liberation fighters in our own country, they are supposed to be celebrated. We also the founders of the revolution in our country and they must be honoured,” said Ambassador Dadah.

The British hanged Mbuya Nehanda in 1898 after she resisted their settling in Zimbabwe.

Despite being responsible for her hanging, along with other traditional leaders and warriors, in a statement, the Natural History Museum in London professed ignorance on the whereabouts of Mbuya Nehanda’s remains.

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