Exiled nephew to late former President Robert Mugabe, Patrick Zhuwao has sensationally claimed President Emmerson Mnangagwa was behind the current bid to have his predecessor's remains exhumed from a Zvimba homestead grave in the belief the one-time Zimbabwe ruler was buried with a spectre that could give the incumbent electoral victory in 2023.
Zhuwao was speaking on SABC Wednesday night.
Mugabe, who was toppled by Mnangagwa with military assistance 2017, died in a Singaporean hospital September 2019 and was buried in his rural homestead.
Apparently acting on the ex-leader's deathbed instructions, Mugabe's family defied a government position for his body to be interred at the National Heroes Acre.
However, it has taken nearly two years for his family to find out it had not seen the last of the drama around the late ruler's burial controversy.
This is after Chief Zvimba this week summoned Mugabe's widow, Grace for trial over the family's decision to bury the late leader at his rural homestead.
"You are facing charges of burying the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe at his homestead," read Chief Zvimba's summons in part.
"This is unheard of in Chief Zvimba's area. I want you to rebury the late president in accordance with our traditions and in Zvimba at a place designated by the family and his late mother."
Commenting on the new development, South Africa exiled Zhuwao dragged Mnangagwa into the exhumation saga, claiming the Zanu PF number one was fretting over the possibility of losing the 2023 elections and believed the one-time iron-fisted ruler for 37 years was buried with a sceptre that could give him poll victory.
"He (Mnangagwa) is uncomfortable about prospects of the 2023 elections, and he believes that he will need to secure those elections through violence," Zhuwao said.
"But violence will have to be perpetrated by individuals and he would like, say to those individuals that they are protected spiritually. This is the perspective that he has."
Zhuwao said at family level, there is no dispute about Mugabe's burial claiming the Chief who summoned Grace to a traditional court was doing the bidding for Mnangagwa who has political agenda to settle.
"There is no dispute within the family around where President Mugabe's mortal remains were interred.
"If there is no dispute, where does the Chief come in? Over and above, the Chief not having any reasons or grounds for intervening, this is beyond his jurisdiction as a traditional leader.
"Issues of births, deaths and burials are governed by the appropriate legal Act which has precedence over traditional law. This begs the question as to why this is happening?
"This is happening because of a political agenda that Emmerson Mnangagwa wants to put forward.
"The reason Emmerson Mnangagwa wants to exhume the mortal remains of President Mugabe is because he has been looking for what is referred to as tsvimbo yaMambo, which is really the spectre that he believes will give him the authority to be the leader of Zimbabwe.
"Emmerson Mnangagwa, in my presence and the presence of my two colleagues, has indicated that he believes that there are 16 traditional leaders who will effectively anoint the person that will be able to effectively govern Zimbabwe and he believes that President Mugabe had that sceptre."
Zhuwao also said Mnangagwa was taking advantage of a sick Mugabe widow whom he knew may not be able to attend the hearing before Chief Zvimba as she was seeking treatment abroad.
"He knows that Amai Mugabe is not well. She is out of the country. He knows that she is receiving treatment and she will not be able to attend."
Zhuwao fled the country 2017 together with a handful former Zanu PF bigwigs who were fearing for their lives after Mnangagwa muscled his way to the top job with military assistance.