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Robert Mugabe's body arrives in Harare, kicking off funeral programme

Robert Mugabe's body arrives in Harare, kicking off funeral programme”

The body of Robert Mugabe, founder and former president of Zimbabwe, has arrived in capital Harare but his final resting place remains a mystery amid dispute between some family members and the government. Thousands of people gathered to watch as the plane carrying dictator's remains landed at Harare's global airport, which bears his name, early in the afternoon.

Final voyage ... The late president Robert Mugabe's coffin rolling out of a charter plane which flew him from SingaporeFinal goodbye ...

Zimbabwe's Vice President Kembo Mohadi was seen arriving at the funeral parlour on Tuesday afternoon, and a Zimbabwe state newspaper said his body would return to the country on Wednesday. While the government wants to bury him in the National Heroes' Acre, the family is reportedly opposed to the idea, arguing that Mugabe had since fallen out with the current regime. According to the source, the family wanted Mugabe to be buried in Zvimba, his rural home where a decision will be made if he is to be buried at the Kutama Roman Catholic Cemetery where his mother, Bona was buried.

But now his second wife, Grace, and other family members are resisting his burial at the state monument, saying that according to Zimbabwean tradition he should be interred at his birthplace in Zvimba.

Mugabe who swept to power after Zimbabwe's independence from Britain and went on to rule for 37 years until he was ousted in 2017, died on Friday, aged 95. Addressing journalists and his association's district representatives in Chinhoyi yesterday, ZNLWVA provincial chairperson Cornelius Muoni said it was uncultured to preclude mourners from attending Mugabe's funeral, describing it as an indirect affront to Mnangagwa.

Presidential spokesman George Charamba and deputy information minister Energy Mutodi at the weekend said the former authoritarian ruler would be buried at the National Heroes' Acre, a monumental burial site reserved for people viewed by the ruling ZANU-PF party as having served the country with distinction during and after the 1970s war of independence. "They stabbed him in the back".

Conspicuously missing on the list of leaders attending the state funeral are leaders from Europe and the US.

All that, as we said, was expected. Added Muoni: "We are praying that his soul rest in peace".

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



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