On Friday 9 August, The Zimbabwe Independent reported that former President Robert Mugabe has told his family members that he does not want to be buried at National Heroes Acre. He also apparently said he does not want the current Zanu PF government to preside over his funeral. Mugabe is currently ill and receiving treatment in Singapore where he has been for months.
Family sources said Mugabe has specifically made it clear that he would not want President Emmerson Mnangagwa — who seized power from him in a military coup in November 2017 — and his allies to hold forth and pontificate over his dead body.
Mugabe — who has remained bitter with Mnangagwa for toppling him despite their decades of close relations spoiled by the dismissal of the latter from government just before the coup — says he wants to be buried next to his mother Bona at his rural home in Zvimba, Mashonaland West province, sources say.
“Mugabe has made it clear to his family that he does not wish to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre anymore. He does not want to be associated with Mnangagwa and all those he now views as his betrayers and tormentors. He has said he doesn’t want them to sing and pontificate over his dead body,” a close family member said. “He has informed relatives about his decision and this is known in the family; it’s also now known in government circles.”
Government and Zanu PF officials say Mugabe’s refusal to be buried at Heroes Acre — if his wish is to be respected — would constitute the greatest repudiation of not just Mnangagwa and his government, but also the Zanu PF struggle narrative and the Heroes Acre, and what it had come to represent.
That is why, they said, Mnangagwa is worried about the issue and is scrambling to fix his relations with Mugabe and his family.
Here are some reactions from Zimbabweans on the development:
He denied Ndabaningi Sithole that status, and now wants to deny himself such before he even dies; all because he is some unforgiving character that prides in bitterness. He can get buried wherever he wishes life will go on for the living despite – Tinashe Shamuyashe
They are a number of people who did not wish to be buried at Heroes Acre but Mugabe used his power and buried them there against their wish-We will send him to Heroes Acre – Nyasha Mcbride Mpani
A new distraction has been birthed. The fight for Mugabe’s body! Who woulda thought! Mugabe refuses to be buried at Heroes Acre. It’s going to be a lot of politicking behind the scenes. How much will the Mugabe’s accept to give in to EDs request for him to preside over funeral.
Clearly it will be a propaganda coup if ED wins and has Mugabe buried at heroes Acre, but if Mugabe gets his way then it will be another nail in ED’s illegitimacy coffin. But thats how evil these ZANU’s are sending people to negotiate with a bedridden Mugabe for political points – Baynham Goredema
It’s only but right he is buried at the Heroes Acre amongst the many whose families didn’t want them there but his regime would have none of it! ZanuPf must preside over his funeral. Heroes Acre is his final resting place we can’t be debating this one. – LindaKSibs
People must not force the Bob or the family. Nkomo was burried at the heroes acre because Bob & Zanu pf wanted to unite the nation. Nkomo also deserved to go there because he was the VP and a member of Zanu pf. Bob was expelled from Zanu pf. – Law Togaraseyi
If there is anyone who deserves to be buried at Heroes Acre, it is Robert Mugabe! He built that monstrosity at great cost to the public, then privatised it for Zanu PF, routinely used it as megaphone for instilling fear, pouring scorn on everyone else pretending it was a monument for all liberation comrades when it was not. Recall he refused to bury Lookout, Ndabaningi & more deserving heroes there because they were not Zanu PF, scoffing that they shd find their own hill. He HAS to be buried there, even AGAINST his will. – Siphosami Malunga
The only time I am going to support ZanuPF government is when they drag the casket of an unwilling Robert Mugabe to Heroes Acre. If he really wanted to make an impact he must ask that the airport be renamed Harare International. Not this childish nonsense. Selfish old man!!! – Ndaba
Mugabe’s decision lately to refuse to be buried at the national desecrated shrine is quite in order. The old man is confessing before his demise. He is saying am sorry, the shrine is a facade. It has become a symbol of oppression. Chaapo Mutambara
A false narrative coming from The Independent claims the inaugural President of Zimbabwe has refused to rest at the Heroes Acre when his Maker finally calls him; and that the delegation led by Chief Secretary was meant to persuade him to think otherwise. – Jamwanda
Mugabe can be buried where ever he wants when he dies. Refusing to be buried at Heroes Acre doesn’t bother most of us. He is the architect of this rot together with ED and the rest of these scumbags. In fact, that Heroes Acre nonsense should be shut down. We bury criminals there – Pedzisai Ruhanya