Cde Mugabe's body arrives in Harare

Cheryl Sanders
September 12, 2019

President Peter Mutharika will travel to Zimbabwe to attend former President Robert Mugabe's funeral ceremony. Thousands of people gathered to watch as the plane carrying dictator's remains landed at Harare's worldwide airport, which bears his name, early in the afternoon.

Mugabe died last week at a Hong Kong hospital at the age of 95 and his remains are expected in Harare on Wednesday ahead of his burial over the weekend.

The body will be taken to his rural home, with Zimbabwe's information minister said Mugabe's body will lie in state at two stadiums in the capital for three days.

Controversy continues to be associated with the late former president Robert Mugabe in his death, as was the case in his life - with his family and the government still poles apart yesterday with regards to where he will be buried.

Cde Matemadanda said he will also be attending the funeral to support President Mnangagwa.

"Mugabe was an outstanding national liberation movement leader and politician of Zimbabwe", said China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, while Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Mr Mugabe made a great personal contribution to the battle for Zimbabwe's Independence and to the building of Zimbabwean State institutions. Mugabe's first wife, Sally, is buried at Heroes' Acre and a vacant plot reserved for the former president is next to her grave. The chiefs have not told us where he will be buried, so it is not clear yet.

His burial at Heroe's Acre is still being contested. Mnangagwa, top officials and other Mugabe family members were at the airport to receive the body.

But the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA) Mashonaland West chapter has come out guns blazing, declaring that no one should be barred from attending Mugabe's funeral.

The fight over where he will be buried is threatening to embarrass his successor as president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and deepen divisions in the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Asked whether Mugabe had been bitter about being ousted, he said: "Everybody is human".

"I will always remember the vast, huge contribution he made not only to the people of Zimbabwe but to the people of Africa", he said.

"We are just trying to deal with ... the harm that he did", said Margaret Shumba, another Harare resident.

Other reports by iNewsToday