Published: Wed, September 11, 2019

Mugabe bans Mnangagwa from funeral: Family and state clash over plan

Mugabe bans Mnangagwa from funeral: Family and state clash over plan

Relatives fly to Singapore to bring Mugabe home Close relatives and government officials flew out of Zimbabwe on Monday to collect the body of ex-president Robert Mugabe from Singapore where he died last week, his nephew said.

Mugabe died last week while undergoing treatment in Singapore, two years after he was forced to resign after ruling the Southern Africa country for 37 years.

Exiled former Minister Jonathan Moyo has alleged that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga wanted former President, the late Robert Mugabe to die in office since he was one of the founding fathers of present-day Zimbabwe.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, a government statement, on Monday announced that Mugabe's funeral will take place on Sunday, September 15.

He is still regarded by many as a national hero, though, with some even beginning to say they missed him after his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former ally turned foe, failed to revive the economy and used the army to crush dissent.

In an interview with VOA's Zimbabwe Service, Gumbo, however gives credit to Mugabe for prioritizing education, and giving land to blacks, though he says the process was disorderly. He had dominated Zimbabwean politics for nearly four decades from independence in 1980 until he was removed by his own army in a November 2017 coup.

"Heads of State/Government are expected to depart immediately after the ceremony, taking into consideration that Government authorities will be fully occupied with preparations for the burial service/ceremony reserved for September 15".

The family of late ex-President Robert Mugabe has kicked against government's plan to bury him at the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare, demanding instead to bury him in his home village Kutama.

He was not available for comment after Reuters saw the government memo or after it spoke to the three other Mugabe relatives.

"In particular the President could not understand why Patrick Zhuwao had left the country except, possibly, in solidarity with his colleagues, one of whom had in fact been in and out of the country, " he said, in apparent reference to another "G40" kingpin, Saviour Kasukuwere. "The times will be advised", the foreign ministry said in a note to all diplomatic missions.

Many of his comrades are buried there, as well as his first wife Sally and his sister Sabina.

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