Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe who died Friday in Singapore at the age of 95, is scheduled to be buried on Sunday, September 15, in a location yet to be determined, the presidency announced Sunday.
“His remains are expected on Wednesday afternoon (in Zimbabwe). The official funeral is scheduled for Saturday, his funeral will take place on Sunday (next),” President George Charamba told AFP, adding that the place of his funeral would be determined by his family.
Since his death, discussions between his family and the government about how to organize his funeral have been taking place.
Heroes Acre or not?
As early as Friday, the Head of State decreed official mourning and awarded him the status of “national hero”, which offers him a place in the “Field of the Nation’s Heroes”, on the edge of the capital, Harare.
This monument, which contains three bronze statues of soldiers donated by North Korea, traditionally houses the graves of veterans of the “War of Liberation”. It has recently been opened to personalities from the arts and sciences.
However, the speaker’s spokesman suggested on Sunday that Robert Mugabe could be buried elsewhere.
The place “will be determined by the family,” Charamba said Sunday.
According to reports in the local press, Robert Mugabe’s family opposed his burial at the “Field of National Heroes”, assuring that the former master of the country wanted to be buried in the village of Zvimba, where he owned a house.
“We, the inhabitants of Zvimba, do not want him to go to the Heroes’ Field (…) for what purpose,” his aunt Josephine Jaricha told AFP on Sunday, “we want him to be buried here.
Since the fall of Robert Mugabe, relations between the former president and his successor, whom he publicly called “traitor”, were notoriously bad.
In November 2017, the army had pushed him out after his decision to dismiss his vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, at the insistence of his second wife, Grace, who coveted the succession of her ninety year old husband.