Published:  06:19 AM, 14 September 2019 Last Update: 06:35 AM, 14 September 2019

Zimbabwe settles row to give Mugabe hero's burial

Zimbabwe settles row to give Mugabe hero's burial


Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe will be buried in the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare, his family says, following a row with the government over his final resting site.

Family spokesman and nephew Leo Mugabe says the date is yet to be determined. Before that there will be a public ceremony at the shrine in the capital on Sunday, followed by a ceremony at Mugabe's home village.Mugabe, who was 95, died last week while being treated in Singapore.

His body is now lying in state at the Rufaro football stadium in the capital.Before Sunday's ceremonies, a state funeral will be held on Saturday. Heads of states of a number of countries are expected.

Leo Mugabe told the BBC that after Sunday's public ceremony in Harare Robert Mugabe's body would return to his home village of Kutama.

Clan chiefs and the family would be allowed to perform their own ceremonies there.Only at a later date - another Sunday as yet to be determined - Mugabe would be finally buried at the National Heroes Acre monument, Leo Mugabe added.

The family had earlier expressed shock at not having been consulted by the government about the funeral arrangements.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa had declared Mugabe a national hero after his death, indicating he should be buried at the national monument.

Mugabe's family is said to be bitter over him being ousted by his former ally Mnangagwa two years ago.
Mugabe fired Mnangagwa in 2017, in what many believed was a way to prepare for his wife, Grace Mugabe, to succeed him.

It's an awkward tug-of-war. A reminder of the furious power struggles that consumed Mr Mugabe's last years: the feuds, plots and alleged poisonings, that culminated in 2017's military coup.

Zimbabwe's current leadership - those behind the coup - may be keen to paper over those divisions now.
And a veneer of decorum is likely to prevail.

--- BBC

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