THE late diplomat Charity Nzenza, wife of former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Retired Brigadier-General Elisha Muzonzini, has two graves.
Muzonzini is currently embroiled in an estate wrangle with the Nzenza family, who are accusing him of abusing his powers in clinging to their late daughter’s “wealth”, including a farm, a car and several houses.
Nzenza, who worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over 20 years, has two graves.
One is at Glen Forest Memorial Park, where her remains were interred, while another “empty” grave, bearing her name, is at her family’s rural homestead at Mataruse village in Chikomba District.
Both graves have tombstones bearing her name and personal details, but the family decided only to retain her maiden surname on the tombstone at the rural home.
According to the family head, Sydney Nzenza, the late Charity’s spirit was symbolically “reburied” in Chivhu on May 15 this year.
The family is currently planning a traditional ceremony to bring back her spirit into the family, known in Shona culture known as kurova guva, on Friday next week, he said.
The tombstone on the grave at the rural home carries the inscription: “Chihera Mukonde akadzoka kune vedzinza rake,” which loosely translates into “Charity came back to her own”.
Nzenza said Muzonzini had been denying the family access to the grave at Glen Forest and that he put a tombstone on their daughter’s grave without the family’s knowledge.
“We are a family that is guided by cultural beliefs and traditions and we had to rebury our relative because she is part of us. She doesn’t belong to any other family. Muzonzini first unveiled a tombstone at our daughter’s grave without our knowledge, and we were against that,” he said.
“According to our culture, we then took soil from Charity’s grave and reburied her in Chivhu. That is where she belongs. We unveiled the tombstone and on September 23, we are going to perform the traditional rites of bringing her spirit back into the family.”
Nzenza said Charity’s “reburial” was acknowledged by the community in Mataruse village and treated with the rites and reverence attendant to any normal burial.
“The reburial of Charity was emotional. The relatives and villagers wept uncontrollably as if it was a fresh tragedy. We reburied Charity and we did not tell him (Muzonzini). Charity is our heroine and no one can take her away from us,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Muzonzini were fruitless.
A bitter wrangle between both parties over the estate of the late diplomat has spilled into the courts, with the latest developments indicating Muzonzini had sued his in-laws for defamation.
According to court papers, the former CIO boss, through his lawyers Nyika Kanengoni and Partners Legal Practitioners, is suing Nzenza for $50 000, accusing him of calling him a fraudster and corrupt individual.
The Nzenza family, however, said they were now at peace because their daughter’s spirit was at rest.
Elderly women in Mataruse have begun brewing traditional opaque beer, while a beast to be slaughtered on the day, as part of the traditional rites has been secured.
“You might think that it is only just the soil we buried, but as per our culture, Charity lies here with us now,” Nzenza said.-Newsday