Zimbabwe’s Mugabe to be buried in his village early next week

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Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe will be buried early next week in his village and not at a national monument for liberation heroes, his family said on Thursday.

The family of Mugabe, who died in Singapore last week, and Zimbabwe’s government have been at odds over whether he would be buried in his homestead in Kutama, northwest of Harare, or at the National Heroes Acre in the capital.

“His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night.., followed by a private burial — either Monday or Tuesday — no National Heroes Acre. That’s the decision of the whole family,” his nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP.

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe will be buried early next week in his village and not at a national monument for liberation heroes, his family said on Thursday.

The family of Mugabe, who died in Singapore last week, and Zimbabwe’s government have been at odds over whether he would be buried in his homestead in Kutama, northwest of Harare, or at the National Heroes Acre in the capital.

“His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night.., followed by a private burial — either Monday or Tuesday — no National Heroes Acre. That’s the decision of the whole family,” his nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who worked closely with Mugabe for decades before helping to oust him, granted Mugabe the status of national hero within hours of his death.

The memo sent by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to embassies in Harare and seen by Reuters said the funeral would be in the National Sports Stadium but did not specify where the burial would be.

It said heads of state would be expected to leave the stadium immediately after the funeral ceremony because officials would be busy with preparations for the burial.

The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported last month that Mugabe didn’t want to be buried at National Heroes Acre – a site reserved for the country’s heroes – because he felt bitter about the way he was removed from power.

In comments to The Sunday Mail newspaper Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba denied that the government and Mugabe’s family were at loggerheads over where the former president should be buried and said the provisional plan was for the burial to be at National Heroes Acre.

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