A Zimbabwean Cabinet minister said the government is "frantically working" to repatriate from Britain skulls of Zimbabweans killed in an 1890s anti-colonialism war.

The state-run Herald newspaper Saturday quoted Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo saying Zimbabwe will talk to its former colonial ruler over the skulls in Britain's Natural History Museum.

President Robert Mugabe on Monday said Britain's Natural History Museum holds skulls of veterans of an uprising against British colonizers. Known as the First Chimurenga, or First Liberation War, the 1893-1896 war pitted Zimbabweans using spears and bows and arrows against white settlers with guns.

The museum, in a statement Friday, said it has 20,000 human remains in its collection and has a policy of carrying out "significant repatriations" if there is full identification.