File picture: AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi.
File picture: AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi.

Family denies feud with Zimbabwe government over Mugabe funeral

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Sep 10, 2019

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HARARE - As confusion over the final resting place of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe continues, his family denied claims of a feud with the government and insisted the family would decide on where he will be buried. 

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) is planning to have the burial at the Chinese-built National Heroes Acre in Harare, where all of the country's struggle heroes are laid to rest.

Among those buried there is his first wife, Ghanaian-born Sally (nee Hayfron).

Family and relatives of the deceased meanwhile, have for days hinted he will be buried at his home village in Kutama, Zvimba in the Mashonaland West province.

While discussions on the burial of Mugabe at either the national heroes’ acre or his home village are ongoing behind closed doors, Mugabe's nephew Leo Mugabe denied there were disagreements over the matter. 

"There's no feud between the family and government. As to where he will be buried is dependent on the family, the family and chiefs in Zvimba are the people that will determine basically where he's going to be buried.

"To say there's [a] feud is not correct, not true. We've been meeting with government and everything has been very smooth, there's understanding, there's clarity on responsibilities and therefore, there is no feud whatsoever," he told eNCA.

Mugabe also revealed that his uncle's corpse was due to arrive from Singapore on Wednesday before being taken to Rufaro Stadium in Mbare township on Thursday for public viewing by the nation.

He said on Saturday, the Pan Africanist icon's body will then be taken to the National Sports Stadium for the funeral where international and African dignitaries were expected to bid him farewell before final burial on September 15.

“Locals will bid farewell to Cde Mugabe at Rufaro Stadium while international dignitaries will bid him farewell at the National Sports Stadium," Leo said.

Zimbabwe's Vice President Kembo Mohadi was due to arrive from Singapore with Mugabe's remains.

Several African heads of state, former leaders and international guests confirmed attending Mugabe's funeral.

These include South African leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, Ace Magashule, secretary general of Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) and Gauteng premier David Makhura, confirmed.

“Mugabe gave Zimbabweans education. Zimbabweans are highly educated. He also gave them land which we are grappling with," Magashule said.

Other dignitaries expected are African Union Commission chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Presidents Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria), Yoweri Museveni 

(Uganda), John Magufuli (Tanzania), Hage Geingob (Namibia), Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), King Mswati III (eSwatini), Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique) and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe from independence in 1980 to 2017, died in  Singapore last week, aged 95.

IOL and CAJ News

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