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National Heroes Acre expansion approved

by Staff reporter
05 Oct 2022 at 06:31hrs | Views
The National Heroes Acre will be expanded with 104 graves to be added to take its carrying capacity to 299.

Cabinet yesterday approved the proposed architectural designs for the Phase 2 of the extension works.

Presenting the 29th post-Cabinet media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said Government also directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to spruce up district and provincial heroes acres and refurbish other heroes monuments outside the country.

"Cabinet received and approved the Proposed Architectural Designs for Phase II of the National Heroes Acre Extension Works as presented by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe.

"The nation is being informed that the National Heroes Acre at it establishment had 195 graves.  Forty two (42) years later 161 graves have been utilised leaving 35. It is therefore important that an additional 104 graves be created to ensure that the national shrine is able to accommodate new burials at all times," Minister Mutsvangwa said.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa addresses the media during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday.

She added that the national shrine will also have a Zimbabwe Liberation War Museum that documents Zimbabwe's colonial and liberation experiences including individual contributions of the heroes and heroines interred at the shrine.

Minister Mutsvangwa also said Cabinet received and noted a report on the fact-finding mission to the United Kingdom on the repatriation of remains of national heroes and heroines of the First Chimurenga.

The team was led by the Executive Director of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (Dr Godfrey Mahachi).

Their mandate was to engage British institutions with a view to ascertain the presence of human remains of our ancestors and facilitate their repatriation; to access and assess migrated archives including Rhodesian Military and Intelligence records and negotiate for their repatriation; and to identify cultural artefacts in British institutions and initiate dialogue for their possible repatriation.

"The team held meetings with six museums, namely: the Natural History Museum; the British Museum; the University of Cambridge Duckworth Laboratory; the University of Oxford Pitt Rivers Museum; University of Manchester Museum and the National Archives.

"Cabinet advised that these remains which are in various institutions as well as private collections, are believed to include those of Zimbabwe's iconic heroes who were murdered during the resistance to colonial rule in the early 1890s and early 1900s," she said.

The minister added that the archival documents associated with the remains were examined to verify their authenticity and integrity and the delegation was satisfied that there are indeed human remains of Zimbabwean origin in the United Kingdom as confirmed by the Natural History Museum and the Duckworth laboratory.

She said both the Natural History Museum and the University of Cambridge are willing to collaborate on the repatriation of the human remains in their institutions adding that Government will work tirelessly the repatriation of the heroes and heroines.

Source - The Herald
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