Thursday, 20 February, 2020

Mugabe’s body leaves Singapore for burial in Zimbabwe

Mugabe’s body leaves Singapore for burial in Zimbabwe Mugabe’s body leaves Singapore for burial in Zimbabwe
Deanna Wagner | 12 September, 2019, 10:19

Relatives and government officials attended a mass for Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe in Singapore Tuesday, after arriving in the country where he died, to collect his body.

The location of the burial remains unclear, with Mugabe's family and President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government appearing at odds over whether it would be at his homestead in Mashonalane West, or at a shrine for liberation heroes in the capital.

Speaking during a post cabinet press briefing Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Mugabe's body will arrive in the country on Wednesday afternoon and the details of his burial will be advised in due course.

At the time, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania told Mr Mugabe that he had inherited "the jewel of Africa", and there was much hope of a new dawn for the black majority country, formerly known as Rhodesia. But some family members said he should be buried at his birthplace, according to Zimbabwean tradition.

Wednesday's subdued airport gathering was a far cry from the tumultuous crowd of 100,000 that swarmed the airport in January 1980 to welcome Mugabe back after years in exile. Arrangements have been made for his funeral and burial this weekend. A programme would be announced by the home affairs ministry later in the day, he said.

Mnangagwa and his party want Mugabe buried at a national monument to heroes of the liberation war against the white minority Rhodesian regime.

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"I don't yet know whether he will be buried at home, at the village or what", Leo Mugabe, the former president's eldest nephew, told the Telegraph on Wednesday.

On Thursday and Friday the body will lie in state at Rufaro Stadium in Mbare township in Harare - where Mugabe took his oath of office - for the public to pay their final respects.

Mugabe's casket was then taken to a nearby military barracks for prayers before going to the family's 25-bedroom home in the posh Borrowdale suburb for an evening gathering.

"He died a very bitter man". Robert Mugabe was called everything from a liberator to a tyrant.

But reports suggest Mr Mugabe did not want those who ousted him from power to preside over his funeral and so he might instead be buried at his rural home in a private event. "They have dented his legacy, it was not an easy thing", a family spokesperson said. But we should weigh the good deeds he takes to his grave versus the few undesirable things that are attributed to him.