Zimbabweans to view Mugabe's body amid burial dispute

Zimbabweans to view Mugabe's body amid burial dispute

On Wednesday the remains of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe arrived to a hero's welcome in Harare ahead of his burial early next week.

The statement read, "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".

The 95-year-old, who ruled for 37 years until he was ousted in November 2017, died last week in Singapore where he had been receiving medical treatment.

The casket is to be taken to Rufaro Stadium in Harare's poor Mbare neighbourhood and then to Zvimba, Mugabe's birthplace 85 kilometres northwest of the capital, where it is expected to stay overnight.

Mugabe's nephew Patrick Zhuwao said this during a memorial service hosted by the EFF in Orlando East, Soweto on Thursday.

The body of the former guerrilla leader is to be on view at several historic sites in the next few days but where and when he will be buried has not been announced, indicating friction between the Mugabe family and Mnangagwa.

Around two thousand supporters, family members and government officials were on the tarmac at Harare airport to welcome Mugabe's remains as they arrived by charter flight from Singapore.

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Followed by a private burial - either Monday or Tuesday - no National Heroes' Acre.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Cuban former leader Raul Castro and a dozen African presidents, including South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa, are among those expected to attend Mugabe's state funeral on Saturday in Harare.

"The government should let him be buried at his rural home if that it is what he wanted", said taxi driver Desire Benhure, 28.

Mugabe hoisted the new Zimbabwe flag and lit the independence flame on April 18, 1980 - bringing hope for a new era after a long insurgency.

His leadership and economic mismanagement forced millions to escape a country crippled by hyper-inflation and shortages of food, drugs and fuel.

Zimbabweans still struggle to survive, with a once-vaunted public health system now in shambles and the economy still in crisis.

However on Wednesday Leo Mugabe told The Associated Press on Wednesday that relations are good between the family and Mnangagwa.

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