Zim government, Mugabe's family at odds over the former leader's burial

Evarado Alatorre
Setiembre 13, 2019

This contradicted the comments the family made in a statement on Thursday, in which they resisted the government's burial plans.

Robert Mugabe's family has accompanied his body as it lies in state at the Rufaro Stadium.

Former president Robert Mugabe is reported to have offered ailing Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga to take over him at the height of the coup that removed him from power and led to the ascendance of Emmerson Mnangagwa to the presidency in November 2017.

Leo Mugabe said later there was no feud, claiming the burial would be private.

The nephew says it will be a private family burial and that details including the day are still being worked out.

He dismissed as absolute nonsense reports that President Mnangagwa tried to bribe traditional chiefs from Zvimba to have Cde Mugabe buried at the National Heroes Acre.

Some of Mugabe's relatives have expressed bitterness at the way former comrades including Mnangagwa ousted him and pushed for Mugabe to be buried in his home village.

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Mugabe's body arrived in Zimbabwe from Singapore on Wednesday and started three days of lying in state on Thursday.

Mugabe fired Mnangagwa as first vice president in 2017, a move many perceived as an attempt to position his wife Grace to succeed him after almost four decades of iron-fist rule.

Mnangagwa had declared Mugabe a national hero after his death, indicating he should be buried at the monument for his role as a founding father.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Cuban former leader Raul Castro and a dozen African presidents, including Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those expected to attend Mugabe's state funeral on Saturday in Harare.

According to the Zimbabwe Independent, Mugabe made the revelations a year ago in March during an interview with the publication.

Mnangagwa himself is under pressure after promising a new post-Mugabe era of more investment and jobs after he came to power, with little success.

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