The casket of former president Robert Mugabe is carried by the presidential guard to an air force helicopter for transport to a stadium where it will lie in state, at his official residence in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture AP Photo/Ben Curtis
Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe will be buried at a private ceremony at a date still to be decided, his family said yesterday.

The government wants him interred at a national shrine on Sunday.

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until he was ousted by his own army in 2017, died in a Singapore hospital six days ago, aged 95.

His body arrived in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

Mugabe is proving as polarising in death as he was in life, as the fight over where he will be buried threatens to undermine President Emmerson Mnangagwa, once his former deputy.

Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF party had planned for a state funeral this weekend.

The (family) want him buried in his home village of Zvimba, some 85km from Harare.

Leo Mugabe, the late former president's nephew, said the burial ceremony would be private, without saying where it would be.

Refusing a burial at National Heroes Acre would be a major snub to Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF, the party Mugabe helped found.

The family issued a statement saying it was concerned that the government was preparing the programme for Mugabe's funeral “without consulting his immediate family”.

Mnangagwa visited Mugabe’s palatial home, known as Blue Roof, in the capital yesterday to pay his respects.

“As long as Zanu-PF is in power and as long as I am leading, no one will deviate, you remain our icon, our commander and founding father,” Mnangagwa said of Mugabe.