Home » Governance » Zanu-PF Activists Demand Removal of Rhodes’ Grave

ZANU PF activists in Bulawayo have vowed to force the removal of Cecil John Rhodes’ remains from the burial place in Matopos Hills south of the city.

The activists say this is in solidarity with Rhodes University students who have launched a bid to have the legendary colonialist’s statue removed from campus.

Zanu PF activist and former party commissar for Masotsha Ndlovu district, Zweli Malinga told NewZimbabwe.com at the weekend that Rhodes’ remains on Zimbabwean soil served no purpose other than being a place where his white descendants frequented to adore his land grabbing exploits.

“We gly support what is happening in South Africa,” Mhlanga said, adding, “We are blacks who believe in amadlozi (forefathers).

“We cannot stand seeing whites coming from abroad every day to honour and conduct rituals before their ancestor who is here buried on our own land.”

Rhodes (1853-1902) was a British colonialist, businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa. He founded Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) which was named after him in 1895.

Rhodes University is also named after him and the world famous Rhodes Scholarship is funded by his estate.

His grave is a self-chosen final resting place which still attracts thousands of visitors each year, bringing much-needed tourism revenue to the area.

Last week, hordes of students angered by continued inequalities on both the campus and in their country launched a bid to raze his statue down.

They are adamant his sculpture glorifies a colonial tyrant responsible for untold suffering inflicted on black bodies in pits and shafts throughout Southern Africa.

Pushed by the events down south, Zanu PF activists have renewed their call to have Rhodes’ remains evacuated from Matopo.

“We believe in our own ancestors. Rhodes is an ancestor whose descendants live elsewhere and must go to where he is better appreciated,” Malinga said.

“The sooner they take him to their own land the better. If they do not, we will do it ourselves. Whites would better come here as visitors and not to come and conduct rituals before him.”

It is however, not the first time Zanu PF activists have called for the removal of Rhodes’ remains.

War veterans in 2012 also pushed for Rhodes’ remains to be returned to the UK, blaming them for a lack of rain in the area.

Their efforts came unstuck when President Mugabe blocked the bid saying the grave was an important reminder of the country’s colonial past which could not be airbrushed out.

Source : New Zimbabwe