You are currently viewing Zimbabwe engages UK for return of indigenous remains

Zimbabwe engages UK for return of indigenous remains

Zimbabwe has moved a gear in efforts to repatriate human remains of national heroes and heroines of the First Chimurenga.

This comes after Government dispatched a team of officials led by the Executive Director of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, to travel to the United Kingdom on a Fact-Finding Mission to prepare for the repatriation of human remains of National Heroes and Heroines of the First Chimurenga.

The objectives of the mission were to engage British institutions with a view to ascertain the presence of human remains of our ancestors and facilitate their repatriation.

The mission also sought to access and assess migrated archives including Rhodesian Military and Intelligence records and negotiate for their repatriation.

The mission was also to identify cultural artefacts in British institutions and initiate dialogue for their possible repatriation.

The team held meetings with six museums, that include 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,” said Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa in her post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday.

“The nation is being informed that the archival documents associated with the remains were examined to verify their authenticity and integrity. 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. Both the Natural History Museum and the University of Cambridge are willing to collaborate on the repatriation of the human remains in their institutions. Government will spare no effort to ensure the repatriation of our ancestors.”