The late former President Robert Mugabe reportedly informed his close relatives that he does not want to be buried at the National Heroes Acre, a few weeks before he died.
Mugabe died on Friday, 6 September 2019, at the age of 95 at a hospital in Singapore where he had been unwell for an extended period of time.
Last month, The Independent reported that Mugabe did not want the current Zanu PF government to preside over his funeral.
Unnamed family members disclosed that Mugabe made it clear that he would not want President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his allies to perform his last rites having overthrown him in a military coup in November 2017.
The report suggested that Mugabe’s preference is to be buried next to his mother Bona at his rural home in Zvimba, Mashonaland West province. Said one of the sources:
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.
He has informed relatives about his decision and this is known in the family; it’s also now known in government circles.
President Mnangagwa was reportedly unsettled by news of Mugabe’s decision and he duly sent a delegation to Singapore to convince his predecessor to change his mind.
Mnangagwa, according to the report, approached several high-ranking personalities to be the link between himself and Mugabe.
Some of the names that were forwarded include former bureaucrat and ex-diplomat Dr Machivenyika Mapuranga, former Higher Education secretary Dr Washington Mbizvo and ex-Civil Service Commission chairperson Dr Mariyawanda Nzuwa.
Mnangagwa finally sent a delegation headed by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda. The team had Central Intelligence Organisation Director-General Isaac Moyo and Mugabe’s former personal doctor Professor Jonathan Matenga in its ranks.
It is not known if Mugabe changed his mind following the officials’ visit.