Published: Thu, September 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Zimbabwe: Government Silent On Mugabe Burial Place

Zimbabwe: Government Silent On Mugabe Burial Place

The body of Zimbabwe's former president, Robert Mugabe, arrived home on Wednesday for burial in a country divided over the legacy of a former liberation hero whose 37-year rule was marked by repression and economic ruin.

His body arrived at Harare's Robert Gabriel Mugabe global airport shortly after 1330 GMT.

Always divisive, Mugabe's final resting place is still in dispute, with his family and President Emmerson Mnangagwa apparently split over where the former leader's body will be buried on Sunday. "I also don't know", he said.

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"The delegation appreciated government support from time of hospitalization and treatment of former President and founding father, Cde Mugabe, right up to the time of his passing on". But some family members said he should be buried at his birthplace, according to Zimbabwean traditions.

On Tuesday, a government minister said the burial was planned for Sunday, a day after the state funeral. The list, the source claimed, included Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, who announced the coup, Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri and her deputy Victor Matemadanda, among the list dominated by some top military personnel.

The government wanted Mugabe to be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, while his family insisted that he wanted to be laid in his home village of Zvimba. The former leader's body was expected to be taken there on Thursday, as well as to a stadium in the capital's poor Mbare neighbourhood for public viewing before being moved Saturday to the National Sports Stadium, where African heads of state, dignitaries and the public will attend a service. A spokesman for the Mugabe family could not immediately be reached for comment. Shortly after Mugabe's death, the nephew had said Mugabe died "a very bitter man" because he felt betrayed by Mnangagwa and the army generals who were his allies for close to four decades before they put him under house arrest and forced him to resign. That historic moment was even more emotional for us because our own reggae superstar Mr Robert Nesta Marley was in Harare, at the invitation of Mr Mugabe, to perform, because Mr Marley's songs served as motivation for the freedom fighters. "Now reports that we hear that some elements are instigating that certain individuals should be barred from attending the funeral of our late former President, if they are indeed true, are a direct attack on individuals and an indirect attack on President Mnangagwa, Zanu-PF and the war veterans". Mugabe was not flawless as he was human and bound to err.

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