Mugabe funeral: Leader's body kept in hometown after state funeral

Mugabe funeral: Leader's body kept in hometown after state funeral

After a state funeral on Saturday in the capital Harare attended by African leaders, his body will go to his rural village of Kutama, 90 kilometres (55 miles) to the west, to allow villagers to pay tribute and bid farewell.

Zimbabwe president, Mnangagwa walked behind the casket carrying Mugabe's body as it was wheeled into the centre of Harare's National Sports Stadium and placed on a podium decorated with flowers. "He will spend the night there", a family spokesman, Leo Mugabe, said.

"Nigeria most respectfully condoles with the Republic of Zimbabwe on the passing of her President, Robert Mugabe - who led the republic and her people to freedom and majority rule - alongside so many other patriots".

In 2017 he was placed under house arrest and, four days later, replaced as the leader of his party Zanu-PF by his former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The family of the late former President Mugabe has also thanked Zimbabweans for commiserating with them during the loss of the country's founding father.

A state funeral service attended by almost two dozen current and former heads of state was held in Harare on Saturday, but Mugabe is not expected to be buried until at least next month after the family - having lost in its push to bury him away from the shrine - insisted on a mausoleum being constructed as a compromise.

The former dictator's widow, known as Gucci Grace for her lavish spending habits, wanted her husband to be buried in his home town in a snub to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the once-trusted adviser who ousted him. "It won't be finished, so we will only bury him after we have completed construction".

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Robert Mugabe did not own his massive mansion known as the "Blue Roof", his nephew revealed.

Mugabe gave away the Mt Pleasant property - bought for him by Zanu PF in 1984 - as a wedding gift to his daughter, Bona, in 2014.

Mugabe primarily was identified as the Marxist and Leninist who successfully led his party ZANU-PF and served the nation from executive office for almost four decades. "We don't want to hear anything about him anymore".

Village chiefs had also expressed dissatisfaction at this idea, arguing Mugabe was a Chief who should be buried as one. The people, who once regarded Mugabe as the greatest politician, were now on the streets showing revolt and rebellion against Presidential works. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is one of those who will attend. He served Zimbabwe as the president for 37-years until he was ousted in a coup in 2017.

Gono held another meeting with the chiefs the following morning, which was followed by an announcement that Mugabe would be buried at the Heroes Acre, after all.

He said that Mugabe was also a great motivation to self-realization for black people practically everywhere.

"I must say - and I spent lots of time with him - towards the end of his life, he was a sad man", Chidhakwa said.

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