He believes the skulls, which include those of spirit mediums Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi who were hanged in 1898, are now displayed at the Natural History Museum in London.
“[K]eeping decapitated heads as war trophies, in this day and age, in a national history museum, must rank among the highest forms of racist moral decadence, sadism and human insensitivity,” Mugabe declared.
According to an official diplomatic statement, there are 20,000 human bones in the museum’s collection, and identifying the remains’ origins may take a lot of time.
“It is not yet clear whether these remains are related to the events, places or people referred to in the president’s speech this week,” a statement released by embassy reads.
“We await the appointment of the required Zimbabwean experts in order to take this forward.”
The museum also confirmed it was “considering a request,” the Telegraph reported.
Robert Barrett, a leading Zimbabwean historian, says there’s no proof that any skulls belonging to freedom warriors were ever sent to the UK, the Telegraph reported.
Moreover, some experts say that Zimbabwe officials’ accusations are unreasonable, as that country’s museums hold a few foreign heads of their own.
"Zimbabwe has a couple of Aboriginal skulls and a Bushman head and these, in many people's belief, should be sent back to Australia and Botswana," the Telegraph quoted one expert as saying.
The repatriation of human remains to their places of origin is relatively common practice in Europe. For instance, both Germany and Austria have returned human remains used for “research” during the colonial era, to Namibia and South Africa, respectively.
Zimbabwe won its independence from Britain in 1980.