from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – THERE is confusion over the final resting place of former Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, with the ruling party advocating for his burial at a national shrine while the family wants him to be interred at his home village.
The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (PF) is planning to have the burial at the Chinese-built National Heroes Acre in Harare, where all of the country’s heroes of the liberation struggle are laid to rest.
Among those buried there is his first wife, the Ghanaian-born Sally (nee Hayfron).
Family and relatives of the deceased have hinted Mugabe will be buried at his home village in Kutama, Zvimba in the Mashonaland West province.
The tussle for burial of Mugabe at either the national heroes’ acre or his home village is ongoing behind closed doors leading to Saturday when the veteran nationalist will finally be laid to rest.
Mugabe’s nephew, Leo Mugabe, said his uncle’s corpse was due to arrive from Singapore on Tuesday before being taken to Rufaro Stadium in Mbare township on Thursday for public viewing by the nation.
He said on Friday, the Pan Africanist icon’s body will then be taken to the National Sports Stadium for the funeral where international and African dignitaries were expected to bid him farewell before final burial on Saturday.
“Locals will bid farewell to Cde Mugabe on Wednesday at Rufaro Stadium while international dignitaries will bid him farewell at the National Sports Stadium,” Leo said.
Zimbabwe’s Vice President Kembo Mohadi was due to arrive from Singapore with Mugabe’s remains.
Several African heads of state, former leaders and international guests confirmed attending Mugabe’s funeral.
These include South African leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, Ace Magashule, secretary general of Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) and Gauteng premier David Makhura, confirmed.
“Mugabe gave Zimbabweans education. Zimbabweans are highly educated. He also gave them land which we are grappling with,” Magashule praised.
Other dignitaries expected are African Union Commission chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Presidents Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), John Magufuli (Tanzania), Hage Geingob (Namibia), Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), King Mswati III (eSwatini), Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique) and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe from independence in 1980 to 2017, died in Singapore last week, aged 95.
– CAJ News