Mugabe's family say burial to be private, place still unknown

The body of late president Robert Mugabe lies in state at the family’s residence in Harare.  Net

It was later taken to Mr Mugabe's Harare villa, known as the Blue Roof, where family and supporters gathered to mourn. "His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night".

"We are gathered here to received his body, we are grieved and we say our honest and deep condolences to the former first lady who has brought the body amai Grace Mugabe with us here and the children who are also here and the immediate family who are here".

The EFF was one of the first South African political parties to send its condolences to the Mugabe family hours after the news of the former president's death was announced on Friday, 6 September.

The remains of the late former President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Zimbabwe and was received by his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa who heaped praises on his former boss as a revolutionary leader and an icon of pan Africanism.

In a statement, the family said: "We note with extreme concern the manner with which the government of Zimbabwe has developed the programme for the funeral of the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe without consulting his immediate family, who were tasked with communicating his last wishes in regard to his funeral and burial".

Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF party want Mugabe buried at a national monument to heroes of the liberation war against white minority rule. But some family members said he should be buried at his birthplace, according to Zimbabwean tradition.

The family of Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe has opposed plans by the government to bury him at the National Heroes' Acre affirming that he will be laid to rest at his Kutama village instead.

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After his body arrived home, though, Mugabe's final burial place became a point of dispute between his family and government. The state preferred the National Heroes' Acre in Harare.

His body is being prepared to lie in state at a football stadium in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.

Some family members are still bitter over his ouster, and the role his former ally Mnangagwa played.

Mugabe's first wife, Sally, is buried there next to a gravesite long reserved for the ex-leader.

Later Thursday the casket is to be taken to Rufaro Stadium in Harare's poor Mbare neighborhood and then to Zvimba, Mugabe's birthplace 55 miles northwest of the capital, where it is expected to stay overnight.

Grace Mugabe is expected to stay beside the casket the entire time.

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