The family of music icon Oliver Mtukudzi has declined an offer by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to bury the legendary musician at the Heroes Acre national shrine, opting to lay him to rest at his Madziva rural home.
Mtukudzi died at Harare’s Avenues Clinic late Wednesday morning.
“He will be buried in Madziva at 2 pm on Sunday,” a family source told Kukurigo. “These are Oliver’s express wishes. He wanted to be buried amongst his ancestors.”
Mtukudzi was declared a national hero yesterday.
“Declaring Tuku a national hero was an easy decision,” Mnangagwa told mourners at the Mtukudzi Knowe residence in Norton, adding that no member of the Zanu PF politiburo — the ruling party’s highest decision making body in between Congress — opposed the proposal.
Mtukudzi’s death has united a deeply divided nation in grief, following a brutal crackdown by security services that has seen at least 12 killed, hundreds injured and imprisoned while dozens of rape allegations have been levelled against the military.
Zanu PF sources say Mnangagwa had hoped the funeral would provide an opportunity to unite the nation.
“We are obviously disappointed but their wishes have to be respected. It was going to be a good opportunity for the President to address the nation on the challenges the country is facing,” said a Zanu PF Central Committee member who requested anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the Press.
The process of conferring hero status has in the past been criticised as partisan. Zanu PF has appropriated the process giving the power to make the decision to its all-powerful Politburo.
— Kukurigo Updates