Mugabe’s body to be flown out of Singapore for burial

Elias Hubbard
September 11, 2019

A coffin carrying the remains of Zimbabwe's longtime ruler Robert Mugabe arrives from Singapore, at the RG Mugabe International Airport in Harare on Wednesday Sept. 11, 2019.

Mugabe's body being taken to the airport in Singapore, where he died last week.

About 500 mourners gathered in Zvimba, Mugabe's birthplace, 85 kilometers (53 miles) northwest of Harare, where his body will lie in state overnight.

There appears to be a row between the government and the family of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe as to where the deceased leader should be laid to rest.

Mugabe died on September 6 in a Singapore hospital at age 95, following several months of treatment in the country.

The delegation from Zimbabwe arrived on Tuesday and attended a private Catholic mass for Mugabe at the funeral parlour, which was officiated by a Zimbabwean priest.

The Sunday Mail quoted presidential spokesman George Charamba in reporting Mnangagwa and family members will receive the body at the airport named after the former president in the capital, Harare.

At home, Zimbabweans have been divided over how to mourn a man once hailed for ridding the former British colony Rhodesia of white-minority rule but who later purged his foes in a campaign of massacres and executions known as the Gukurahundi.

It will then be taken to Rufaro stadium in the capital's poor Mbare neighborhood for viewing for two days before it is moved Saturday to the National Sports Stadium, where African heads of state, dignitaries and the public will attend a service, according to a government statement.

The 35,000-seater stadium is where Mugabe took his oath of office when Ian Smith, the prime minister under the colonial Rhodesian regime, handed over power.

"The entire nation of Zimbabwe, our people, across the board are grieved and are in mourning because the light which led us to independence is no more, but his works, his ideology will continue to guide this nation", Mnangagwa said. But the minister said Mugabe's burial site would only be known once the body had arrived and government officials had consulted with the family.

A relative has said that in line with native Shona customs, traditional chiefs from Zvimba will have a final say on where the former leader will be buried.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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