Saturday, 16 November, 2019

JUST IN | Mugabe to be buried in national monument

Military officers carry the casket of former president Robert Mugabe out of his state funeral at the National Sports Stadium in Harare Military officers carry the casket of former president Robert Mugabe out of his state funeral at the National Sports Stadium in Harare
Patty Aguilar | 13 September, 2019, 18:13

The late former President Cde Robert Mugabe will be buried at the national heroes acre on a date to be announced.

Those declared provincial heroes' by the president are laid rest at the local heroes shrine. "As to when, that is another question", Leo Mugabe told journalists at Rufaro Stadium on the second day of body viewing for thousands of people.

"Another mourner said she believed the former president needed to be buried with his family rather than with his comrades".

He said the traditional chiefs in Mugabe's homestead had made the decision.

"He should just go to the Heroes Acre just like he used to force other heroes to go there, even if their families didn't want Mugabe would make them go there so that's the order that we know. That must be shown forever and ever at the National Heroes Ace so that anybody who visits must be able to say yes, this is where Robert Mugabe is buried", Mugabe added. Typically, this involves swapping the dead chief's body for a log and then burying him in a cave up in the mountains (see our earlier report).

Mugabe dismissed Mnangagwa as first vice president in 2017 - a move many perceived as a bid to position his wife Grace to succeed him after almost four decades of autocratic rule.

Mugabe's family concede to burial in heroes monument

"His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night ... followed by a private burial - either Monday or Tuesday - no National Heroes Acre".

Mugabe died in Singapore last week aged 95, leaving Zimbabweans torn over the legacy of a leader once lauded as an anti-colonial guerrilla hero, but whose 37-year iron-fisted rule ended in a coup in 2017.

Some of Mugabe's relatives are still bitter over how he was removed from power, and the role Mnangagwa played in his ouster. Mugabe was overthrown by the military following massive protests. Mugabe's body arrived from Singapore on Wednesday at Harare airport.

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Democratic Republic of Congo's Félix Tshisekedi, Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika, Angola's João Lourenço, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, President Edgar Lungu of Zambia and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta are expected tomorrow.

Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF party had planned for a state funeral this weekend.

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