Zimbabwean ex-president Robert Mugabe will be buried next week in a private ceremony, his family confirmed today, contradicting the desire of the current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to be buried in a public ceremony.
This Wednesday, Mnangagwa said that the funeral would take place next Sunday in a public ceremony, in statements made after receiving at the Harare airport the body of Mugabe, who died last day 6 in Singapore at age 95 after an illness.
The Government had planned that the ex-president be buried in the Acre of National Heroes in the capital of the country, in an act presided over by the current head of state, although Mugabe family spokesman Leo Mugabe denied today the major.
"We are not going to witness the burial on Sunday," Leo Mugabe, the deceased's nephew, told reporters at the former president's mansion in Harare, known as "Blue Roof".
"The family is the one who makes the decision and tells the Government what it wants to do," said the nephew, noting that the eleven African heads of state and other high authorities who have confirmed their attendance at the state funeral scheduled for this Saturday They can see Mugabe's body and pay their respects.
Although the spokesman denied the existence of a dispute with the Government, the family does not appear to have forgiven Nnangagwa for his support for the military coup that overthrew Mugabe in November 2017, despite the fact that the former president and his wife have been living since then in the cited mansion with the help of state funds.
The Government of Mnangagwa has also incurred the expenses of Mugabe's hospitalization in Singapore during the last months.
Another nephew of the deceased, Patrick Zhuwao, issued a statement today in which he accused the Executive of "forcing us to accept a program" for the funeral of Mugabe.
According to Zhuwao, the Government's proposal is "contrary to his wishes (those of Mugabe) on how he wanted his mortal remains buried."
Unconfirmed reports claim that the former president's final wish was to be buried with his mother, Bona, in a Catholic cemetery in his rural village of Kutama, 90 kilometers northwest of Harare, where, according to tradition, the elder leaders of the Community also have weight when making that decision.
His mortal remains were today transferred to the Rufaro football stadium, in the oldest municipality of Harare, Mbare, where between today and tomorrow his countrymen can give him his last goodbye.
Already on Saturday, they will be taken to the National Sports Stadium for a state funeral.
Despite his reputation as an unscrupulous dictator, who freed his country and later turned it into his own fief, in many countries in Africa Mugabe is still revered as an iconic fighter for freedom and against white colonial rule.
In general, its regime, which lasted from the independence of the United Kingdom in 1980 until its overthrow in 2017, was characterized by the repression of its opponents, the elections of doubtful credibility, the lack of freedoms and a total ruin of the Zimbabwean State.
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