Those close to Robert Mugabe have agreed to have the former president of Zimbabwe buried in the “Field of Heroes”, a national monument in the capital Harare, in line with the government’s wishes, a family spokesman announced on Friday.
“Yes, I can confirm,” one of the deceased’s nephews, Leo Mugabe, declared to the press, following several days of tension between the authorities and family, who preferred him to be laid to rest in his village.
“They (the traditional leaders) have spoken. If they have said that the burial is going to take place in the “Field of Heroes”, we must now await the details (…) to know whether the ceremony will be private or public,” Mugabe added. The family spokesman did not stipulate when the funeral would take place.
Robert Mugabe passed away on September 6 at the age of 95 in an expensive Singapore private hospital where he had been receiving treatment for some years.
His remains were repatriated to Harare amid great pomp on Wednesday to receive a number of tributes, among which will be a state funeral planned for Saturday in the capital’s vast national sports stadium in the presence of numerous African heads of state.
His place of burial is the object of sharp exchanges between his family and the government, at loggerheads since the army takeover that ended Robert Mugabe’s thirty-seven years of power in November 2017.
On Thursday, Leo Mugabe had at first announced that his uncle would be buried in his village, in accordance with the wishes of some of his family and traditional leaders.
Since Mugabe’s fall, relations between the ex-president and his family with current president Mnangagwa, whom he called a “traitor”, are known to be bad.
In November 2017, the army forced him into early retirement following his decision to dismiss Mnangagwa, then vice-president, at the instigation of his wife, Grace, who at the time wanted ever more openly to succeed her nonagenarian husband.