Heavy blow for Mnangagwa as Mugabe's relatives reveal where and when Robert Mugabe will be buried

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The Mugabe family has taken the Zimbabwean government to task over arrangements to bury the former President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe's family say they've noted with extreme concern how the government has developed the funeral programme without consulting them.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s first president, Robert Mugabe, will be buried “sometime next week”, a family spokesman told Reuters on Thursday.

Leo Mugabe, the late president’s nephew, said the burial ceremony would be private.

The family of Mugabe, who died in Singapore last week, and Zimbabwe's government have been at odds over whether he would be buried in his homestead in Kutama, northwest of Harare, or at the National Heroes Acre in the capital.

"His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night.., followed by a private burial – either Monday or Tuesday – no National Heroes Acre. That's the decision of the whole family," his nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP.

Mugabe, whose autocratic rule ended in a military coup in 2017, died last week aged 95. His body was flown back from Singapore on Wednesday.

Zimbabweans have been split over the death of a leader once hailed for ending the former British colony Rhodesia of white-minority rule but who later purged his foes in a brutal crackdown.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa had declared Mugabe a national hero after his death, indicating he should be buried at the national monument.

But the family said traditional chiefs in his homestead in the Zvimba region should decide where he should be buried.

Some family members are still bitter over his ouster, and the role his former ally Mnangagwa played. Mugabe fired Mnangagwa in 2017, in what many believed was an attempt to position his wife Grace to succeed him.

Mugabe was ousted by protesters and the military soon after.


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