Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Zimbabwe: Government Silent On Mugabe Burial Place

We Don't Know Where Mugabe Will Be Buried -Family Members Mnangagwa meets Mugabe family representatives
Patty Aguilar | 12 September, 2019, 01:20

President Peter Mutharika will travel to Zimbabwe to attend former President Robert Mugabe's funeral ceremony.

"The body of the late former President shall be received at the Robert Mugabe International Airport tomorrow in the afternoon". File picture: AP/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi.

According to Mugabe's nephew, Leo Mugabe, who is also the family's spokesman, Mugabe was a chief and he would be given a traditional burial.

The book of condolences will be available at the Zimbabwe embassy in Pretoria and the country's two consulates in Johannesburg and in Cape Town.

The coffin was accompanied by Grace Mugabe, the president's widow, who had been living in Singapore with her husband since April. The outspoken former president ruled the southern African nation for 37 years until he was ousted in November 2017. According to the source, the family wanted Mugabe to be buried in Zvimba, his rural home where a decision will be made if he is to be buried at the Kutama Roman Catholic Cemetery where his mother, Bona was buried.

Mugabe's final burial place on Sunday, though, is still unclear. The Mugabe family is also demanding that Mugabe allies scattered across the world after the coup be allowed to come and bury the late former leader without risking arrest.

When pressed on where Mugabe would be buried, Leo Mugabe was non-committal. Quizzed on where Mugabe will be buried, Mutsvangwa said: "We will be giving you more updates. I also don't know", he said.

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Mugabe's family and Mnangagwa's government are apparently at odds over whether it would be at his homestead northwest of Harare or at a shrine for liberation heroes in the capital.

The official funeral will take place on Saturday, at the giant 60,000-seat National Sports Stadium in Harare.

"Mugabe's sacrifices, especially in struggling for the political and economic emancipation of his people, will always be remembered by posterity", said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

The fight over where he will be buried is threatening to embarrass his successor as president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and deepen divisions in the ruling Zanu-PF party.

"We are just trying to deal with ... the harm that he did", said Margaret Shumba, another Harare resident.

The former president had been receiving hospital treatment in the city state before he died last week aged 95.

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