Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

RTHK: Relatives fly to Singapore to bring Mugabe home

RTHK: Relatives fly to Singapore to bring Mugabe home

"The death of former President Robert Mugabe at a hospital in Singapore on Thursday, September 6, 2019, rang memory bells about the hush-hush, but spirited conversations that ZANU PF comrades used to have about this day, during the 2013 election campaign in which his advanced age and mortality were campaign issues".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has slammed deceased former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Twitter, even as the African country prepares to bury its former leader.

"Then the (traditional) chiefs will bury him on Sunday, where I don't know", said Leo Mugabe.

But Mugabe is believed to have told his family that he wanted to be buried quietly with his mother, denying the politicians and generals who toppled him in 2017 the chance to "pontificate" over his dead body.

"On Saturday the 14th of September 2019, the body would be at the National Sports Stadium for the State Funeral Service where Zimbabweans and other foreign dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps will have an opportunity to pay their last respects to our departed hero".

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who worked closely with Mugabe for decades before helping to oust him, granted Mugabe the status of a national hero within hours of his death.

Burial of the late revolutionary icon is scheduled for Sunday the 15 of this month.

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Most of Zimbabwe's national heroes - those who fought against the white-minority rule - are buried at the Heroes' Acre shrine just outside Harare.

However, family spokesman Leo Mugabe, a nephew of the former president, said over the weekend that burial arrangements have not yet been finalized.

The 35,000-seater stadium is where Mugabe took his oath of office at a colourful ceremony when colonial Rhodesian prime minister Ian Smith handed over the country.

Mugabe's first wife Sally is already buried there and there is another vacant plot for his much-despised second wife, Grace.

"I will always remember the vast, enormous contribution he made not only to the people of Zimbabwe but to the people of Africa", he said.

"If a chief dies, the announcement is not like how we announce any other person who is dead". He was once revered and celebrated as an independence hero when he came into power in 1980.

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