Chibondo exhumations to resume

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EXHUMATIONS of thousands of bodies dumped in disused mineshafts at Chibondo and Monkey William mines in Mt Darwin are expected to continue next week following a month’s break that had been enforced by a High Court ruling, an official involved in the programme said this week. The development comes as yet another site where thousands of bodies were dumped by the Rhodesians during the liberation war has been discovered at Butcher in Headlands. In an interview with The Patriot this week, Treasurer of the Fallen Heroes Trust, an organisation that is leading the exhumations, Mandy Chimene, said they had decided to resume the programme following the realisation by the public that the exhumed bodies were in hostile conditions as they waited for proper burial. She said the bodies had been left lying idle following last month’s ruling by the Bulawayo High Court that exhumation of thousands of bodies dumped in the disused mineshafts be discontinued. “It is true that we are going to resume with the exhumations next week because we cannot keep on leaving bodies that we have already exhumed in the conditions they are in at the moment,” said Chimene. “It is in light of this view that we have decided to resume the programme because it is both disrespectful and unAfrican to leave bodies of our colleagues in such conditions. “So we will from next week resume the exhumations and so far we have exhumed 848 bodies and we are in the process of verifying the identities of the exhumed bodies.” Chimene revealed that they would soon commence exhumations at a place called Butcher in Headlands and said the site had thousands of dumped bodies. “We will also be moving to a place called Butcher in Headlands where there are also thousands of bodies that were dumped by Rhodesians,” she said. “The place was also used to train children of Rhodesians to shoot and they would do their practice on black Zimbabweans, so it is a place of serious significance to us and we will be going there to honour our fallen comrades.” Chimene also called upon Zimbabweans to visit Chibondo and Monkey William mines to identify their relatives among the bodies that have been exhumed so far.

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