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Government releases list of confirmed VVIPs attending Mugabe Burial

Mugabe family opts for private burial date location unknown Government releases list of confirmed VVIPs attending Mugabe Burial
Deanna Wagner | 12 September, 2019, 18:09

While it is nearly certain that former Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe, will be laid to rest on Sunday, 15 September, the chiefs of Zvimba, a district of Mashonaland West Province, have yet to decide where he will be buried.

Prominent Zimbabweans are paying their respects Thursday to former president Robert Mugabe at his sprawling home outside Harare amid continuing controversy over where he will be buried.

"We are gathered here to received his body, we are grieved and we say our honest and deep condolences to the former first lady who has brought the body amai Grace Mugabe with us here and the children who are also here and the immediate family who are here".

In a statement posted Thursday, the family accused the government of "attempting to coerce us" to accept a funeral plan that is "contrary to his wishes".

His body is being prepared to lie in state at a football stadium in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.

The body will be taken to Mugabe's private Harare residence, known as the Blue Roof, for the night.

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Mugabe's remains have arrived in the capital following his death in a Singapore hospital.

It will lie in state at Rufaro football stadium for two days, ahead of the state funeral on Saturday.

Mugabe's body touched down at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe global airport at around 1500hrs accompanied by his wife Grace and children, Vice President Kembo Mohadi among other officials who were aboard the gulf plane often used by Mnangagwa on his trips in and outside the country.

Grace Mugabe is expected to stay beside the casket the entire time. But some family members said he should be buried at his birthplace, according to Zimbabwean tradition.

The news about discussions between the president and Mugabe's widow came after the family blasted the government for not consulting them over the funeral and burial planes. The state preferred the National Heroes' Acre in Harare. After being held for 24 hours, it has since been transported to the Mugabe home in Borrowdale where a church service is being held by the family, with scores of ZANU-PF branch members, as well as the current head of state, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in attendance.

Mr Mugabe was Zimbabwe's first leader after the country became independent in 1980.