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Government Clarifies Protection of Graves in Mt Hampden

Government Clarifies Protection of Graves in Mt Hampden

Following allegations by Eugene Majuru that graves in Mt Hampden were being destroyed for the Cyber City project, the government has issued a statement clarifying its stance on the matter.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, extensive consultations have been conducted regarding the graves in Mt Hampden.

The ministry emphasized that ancient graves are protected by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe Act (Chapter 25:11), while recent graves fall under the protection of the Cemeteries Act (Chapter 5:04).

The ministry assured that it is guided by relevant legislation and is committed to safeguarding these burial sites. It mentioned that the cemetery primarily contains the remains of former farm workers, with many graves being known and identified by relatives.

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Furthermore, the ministry stated that consultations with stakeholders, including Chief Zvimba, have been ongoing. It also acknowledged the historical claims of other clans in the Greater Harare area, such as Mbari, Gutsa, and Hwata.

In the event of grave discoveries during construction, developers have been urged to engage qualified archaeologists or cemetery curators to assess and categorize the graves. This will enable appropriate actions, such as exhumation, to proceed with the project while respecting the sanctity of the burial sites.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage emphasized the complementary nature of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe Act and the Cemeteries Act in legally safeguarding these ancestral sites.

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